The Madoff Ponzi scheme fraud (covered here and here) is already claiming victims, including the JEHT Foundation in New York. While not overly active in anti-corruption funding per se, JEHT was part of a family of like-minded, progressive foundations that operated in this space. Scary stuff.
Here is the text of JEHT President Bob Crane’s statement on the foundation’s abrupt closure:
Statement of Robert Crane, President of the JEHT Foundation, on behalf of the Foundation’s Board of Directors
The JEHT Foundation, a national philanthropic organization, has stopped all grant making effective immediately and will close its doors at the end of January 2009. The funds of the donors to the Foundation, Jeanne Levy-Church and Kenneth Levy-Church, were managed by Bernard L. Madoff, a prominent financial advisor who was arrested last week for defrauding investors out of billions of dollars. The Foundation was established in 2000. Its name stands for the values it holds dear: Justice, Equality, Human dignity and Tolerance. It supported programs that promoted reform of the criminal and juvenile justice systems; ensured that the United States adhered to the international rule of law; and work to improve the voting process by enhancing fair representation, competitive elections and government transparency.
The JEHT Foundation Board deeply regrets that the important work that the Foundation has undertaken over the years is ending so abruptly. The issues the Foundation addressed received very limited philanthropic support and the loss of the foundation’s funding and leadership will cause significant pain and disruption of the work for many dedicated people and organizations. The Foundation’s programs have met with significant success in recent years – promoting change in these critical areas in partnership with government and the nonprofit sector. Hopefully others will look closely at this work and consider supporting it going forward.
Robert Crane, President and CEO
— Nathaniel Heller
There are good people at JEHT and it’s indeed a shame to see this happen. And hey, I say that even though we were turned down multiple times for funding support 🙂 — Nathaniel
Awful. I suppose they can take some consolation in knowing that a lot of respected investors got taken in by Madoff… but that doesn’t get their foundation back.