Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Bernie Madoff’s Ben Gurion University Connection

Bernie Madoff's Ben Gurion University Connection
Posted By Steven Plaut On February 7, 2013

(Open web page for links)
Ben Gurion University in Israel is probably best known for being home
to many of the worst far-leftist anti-Israel radical faculty members
in the country, people like Neve Gordon, Oren Yiftachel, and David
Newman. While it has some serious scholars, mainly in the sciences and
engineering, the social sciences and humanities departments there are
by and large centers for leftist indoctrination and anti-Israel
agitprop. The entire Department of Politics consists of anti-Israel
extremists, and its academic standards are so pathetically low that an
international panel of experts recently called for shutting it down
altogether. Now it has been learned that the University is also
up-to-its-neck involved in the Bernard Madoff mega-scandal. Indeed, it
appears that part of the salaries for Neve Gordon and his ilk come
from funds stolen by Bernard Madoff from his victims and transferred
to BGU.
In recent months many details have emerged about the connections
between Ben Gurion University and the Madoff scandal. In particular,
attention is focusing on the role of Israeli lawyer Yair Green, who
currently serves as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the
Board of Governors of Ben Gurion University. BGU was a major
beneficiary of donations transferred to it by Green, whose source was
money stolen by Madoff. The University has indicated no plans or
willingness to return any of the stolen funds.
Green is being investigated in the United States and in Israel; he has
been indicted in the United States by the court-appointed trustee
Irving Picard, who is in charge of unraveling and cleaning up the
disaster left over by the Madoff Affair. That Affair involved the
largest Ponzi scam in human history, in which losses to investors
amounted to more than $50 billion. While Madoff's victims came from
across the spectrum, a very large portion of them were Jewish
institutions, philanthropies, and individuals. Green is suspected of
being involved in several funds with close ties to the Madoff
operations, and also operating a "charity fund" in Israel that made
donations to Israeli universities and other institutions using funds
stolen by Madoff from his victims.
Bernard Madoff, it will be recalled, operated a gargantuan Ponzi
"investment" scam. A bit like chain letters and pyramid schemes, a
"Ponzi scheme" is one in which investor funds are basically moved
about by the operator from investor to investor to create the delusion
of profits being earned, as the operator skims off substantial amounts
for himself and his partners. When it collapses, investors lose most
or all of their investments. The Madoff scam produced enormous damages
and losses, but also produced some beneficiaries, including Green
himself and Ben Gurion University.
BGU's Green was connected in a number of different ways to the Madoff
operations, including as the managing director of the "Magnify"
corporation, a shady investment fund registered in Panama. That fund
was originally set up by one Albert Igoin, a Romanian-born French
banker and financial manager with close ties to Madoff. After serving
in the French underground during World War II, Igoin was the right
hand man of a French communist party leader. French intelligence
believed he operated as a Soviet spy in France. He was under constant
surveillance by French counter-intelligence, and the US refused to
allow him to enter its borders.
At some point Igoin lost interest in Stalinism and instead went into
finance. He did exceptionally well. He later teamed up with Madoff
back in the 1970s. Igoin was deeply involved in the Madoff operations,
and "Magnify" was involved in channeling funds to and from the Madoff
"investment house."
Green not only ran "Magnify," but also some other funds or operations
in which Ingoin was involved, including Primero and Strand, based in
the Virgin Islands. In 1988 Green set up with Igoin the so-called
Yeshaya Horowitz Association, which funded applied research projects
in Israel. It is named after an 18th century kabbalist and Rabbi. Its
stated purpose was to channel donations to Israeli universities,
hospitals and other institutions.
Before the scandal, the Horowitz Association had raised between 100
and 200 million dollars, mainly for Israeli universities. Press
reports claimed that it lost $800 million in the collapse of Madoff's
scheme, although all or almost all of those funds were simply money
siphoned off to it from Madoff, not trading profits or investment
Green was also the direct beneficiary of funds handled by his
operations, including a payment of over three million dollars from the
"Magnify" fund. Green's children also received cash "gifts." Green
claimed that some of these came from the daughter of Albert Igouin,
who now lives in Europe. But when contacted by Israel's Channel Ten,
she denied even knowing who Green is or having met him. Igoin himself
died in 1995.
Green began raising funds for Ben Gurion University while the Madoff
scheme grew. In exchange, he was first granted an honorary PhD by the
University and later appointed chairman of the executive committee of
the University's Board of Governors by its leftist President Rivka
Carmi, a post he still fills. Green also developed political ties with
Israeli politicians, especially from the Left. He has close ties with
Israeli President Shimon Peres and with assorted Labor Party activists
and leaders, including Avishai Braverman, past president of BGU. The
Labor Party's one-time Minister of Education Yuli Tamir appointed
Green to sit in the country's Council on Higher Education. Peres
received funds from Green and granted him honors in exchange.
Ben Gurion University was not the only beneficiary of Green's
activities. So was the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Among the
members of the board of the Horowitz Association, overseeing the
distribution of funds, was Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, the
ex-President of the Hebrew University (who is also on the
international board of the far-leftist "New Israel Fund"). The
Horowitz Association made large contributions to the "President's
Assembly" run by Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The Green-Madoff connections were exposed in a special television
exposé a few months back on Israel's Channel Ten in its "Hamakor"
documentary, a show roughly analogous to "60 Minutes" in the US.
Channel Ten and the Nana news web site claim that Yair Green siphoned
off millions of dollars in money scammed by Madoff from his victims,
suggesting that this was some sort of hush money to hold his tongue
about Madoff's behavior. He held repeated face-to-face meetings with
Green had registered his Horowitz Association as a non-profit
institution in Israel. When the registrar for non-profits demanded to
know what the source was for the funds that Green was conveying to
recipients in Israel, Green refused to answer, claiming the donor had
required anonymity. It turned out that the only source of the funds
was the Madoff "investment house." Channel Ten claims Green received
$3.15 million to his own bank account in 2002 from Magnify (in
addition to other payments received). In 2005 each of Green's children
received a payment of $100,000 from "Magnify." Green claims the
millions were fees due him for legal services.
After a trustee was appointed to handle the cleanup of the financial
mess left behind by the collapse of the Madoff scheme, the trustee
filed a suit this past summer (on June 15, 2012) against a group of
defendants, including both Green and the Horowitz Association
regarding jurisdiction, and the petition was granted. Picard insists
that Green and Madoff had an unusually close and warm personal
The suit charges that Green was among those who received large amounts
of payouts from the Madoff fund, funds that had in effect been stolen
from Madoff's victims and were siphoned off to Green (and other
defendants). One of the defendants was the "Magnify Corporation."
The suit went on to charge this: According to the Trustee, "Green
and/or Brunner exercised control" over the Accountholder Defendants'
accounts. Further, "Green and Brunner had virtually unfettered
discretion to manipulate the Accountholder Defendants' accounts," and
they "exploited their relationships with Madoff" to do so. Allegedly
taking advantage of that power, "Green and Brunner . . . funneled
millions of dollars of other people's money . . . to themselves, their
families, Yeshaya, other charitable institutions throughout Israel,
and other individuals and entities being investigated by the Trustee
around the world."
The suit charges that group of funds run by Green and Brunner "was
inconsistent with legitimate trading activity," as these accounts were
rife with "indicia of irregularity." Allegedly ignoring these indicia
of irregularity, Brunner and Green exercised control over the
entities' accounts "to siphon money from BLMIS for the benefit of the
Defendants, particularly Yeshaya, as well as their family members and
various Israeli institutions." '
In spite of his role in the Madoff affair, Green continues to attempt
to raise funds for Israeli institutions. And especially for Ben Gurion

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:
URL to article:

If you would like to demand that Ben Gurion University return all the
stolen funds it received out of the Madoff Affair, then please write

The Council for Higher Education in Israel
(governmental body that funds and supervises Israeli universities and colleges)
Prof. Manuel Trachtenberg
Chairman, Council on Higher Education
POB 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel

Aharon Beit-Halahmi
Planning & Budgeting Committee Chairman
Council for Higher Education
P.O.B. 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel
Tel: 02-5679911
Fax: 02-5679969

Ministry of Education
The Honorable Gideon Sa'ar
Acting Minister of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Additional Email:
Phone: 972-2-6408131
Fax: 972-2-6753525

Shalomit Amichai
Director General of the Ministry of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem

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