List of Retirement Plan Victims of Madoff Scheme Grows

December 19, 2008 ( - The list of retirement plan victims of a huge Ponzi scheme authorities claim was run by Bernard L. Madoff continues to grow with word that the entire profit-sharing plan run by suburban Minneapolis drugmaker Upsher-Smith Laboratories had been placed with Madoff's firm.

A news report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune said   Joel Green, general counsel and vice president of legal affairs at Upsher-Smith, declined to estimate how much money might be lost and how many past and current Upsher-Smith employees are affected.

But the newspaper said that because federal regulators froze assets in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC as part of their probe of Madoff, Upsher-Smith’s employees can’t access their account balances. The firm has about 550 workers.

Former employees told reporters that most Upsher-Smith workers qualified for the profit-sharing plan and that some had built up more than $100,000 in their accounts. Employees were told that their assets were frozen and they would get further information.

The company may also suffer because members of the Evenstad family, who own a majority of Upsher-Smith’s stock, also invested with Madoff, the newspaper said. Employees speculated that those family losses could affect the company’s drug development plans.

According to the Star Tribune, Upsher-Smith said it wants to have four new drugs on the market by 2017, including a drug that helps treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

According to the Star-Tribune, Minneapolis-area foundations were also among Madoff's many victims.

The Minneapolis-based Phileona Foundation, the 28th largest foundation in the state by assets, reported it earned $738,646 in dividends and interest from Madoff Investment Securities in the year ended September 30, 2007.

The foundation donated more than $2.3 million to a wide variety of local arts groups and organizations, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Children's Theatre Company, Temple Israel in Minneapolis, Sholom Community Alliance in St. Louis Park and the Animal Humane Society of Hennepin County, the Star Tribune said.

Marshall Miller, a trustee for the Phileona Foundation, told the newspaper the foundation would "continue to operate" and declined to comment further.

Another local foundation possibly affected is the Charles and Candice Nadler Family Foundation in Excelsior. The group reported $17,561 in interest on savings and investments with Madoff Securities in 2007. The foundation is small, with assets of $708,146 as of the end of 2007, but it provided financial support to a number of local groups, including the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and the Walker Art Center.

According to Access Philanthropy, a Minneapolis-based research institute that focuses on foundations, at least 90 private foundations nationally have investments with Madoff. While 46 of them are based in New York, foundations in Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Minnesota have also invested with Madoff.