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A Third Madoff feeder fund manager dies. Who will be No. 4?

Another major beneficiary of Madoff’s $65-billion (not the real number, but we’ll get to that) Ponzi scheme died this week. First, Jeffrey Picower drowned in a swimming pool in Florida, having reaped an alleged $7 billion dollars over the years out of Madoff’s phony hedge fund. Now Stanley Chais, a money manager out in Los Angeles, has died of natural causes, according to the WSJ via Los Angeles Times.

Chais and his family members withdrew hundreds of millions of dollars from Madoff over the years, all the while Chais was charging “fees” to investors for returns he claimed were his own.

Don’t forget Access International’s Thierry de la Villehuchet, the Frenchman who lost $1.4 billion to investors, including his family, and committed suicide because of the ordeal.

How is the Madoff trustee’s going to get any money back from all these dead men? And is Ezra Merkin next? Turned out he was a glorified marketer for Madoff and Cerberus. Or will it be one of the Fairfield Greenwich folks: Andreas Piedrahita (currently circling the globe in his yacht), Walter Noel or Jeffrey Tucker?

Back to the $65 billion question: while Madoff claimed to have lost $65 billion, that was a highly-inflated number that included all the fake profits he built up over the decades. The true dollar amount lost — by investors — was closer to $21 billion. And by the way? The IRS was a big winner in the Madoff Ponzi scheme, since investors had to pay TAXES on those phony gains.

For an update on Picower’s widow and what she’s doing with the $250 million she got from her husband’s estate, read a good Forbes article that came out this month.

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