Nightly News   |  October 27, 2011

Two Madoff victims living on pensions, Social Security

Retirees Judith Welling and Dewitt Baker now live on pensions and Social Security. They entrusted two and half million dollars invested to Bernie Madoff, and it is now gone. NBC News’ Ron Allen has more.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: And speaking of disconnects, the man who got filthy rich in a Ponzi scheme at the expense of so many people and so many charities is back in the news tonight, his family is as well, and many of the people who suffered so much are outraged that the Madoffs are now once again getting so much attention. The story from NBC 's Ron Allen .

RON ALLEN reporting: Retirees Judith Welling and Dewitt Baker now live on pensions and social security . Gone is $2 1/2 million invested with Bernie Madoff .

Ms. JUDITH WELLING: We are rather, at this point though, resentful of the Madoff family looking for sympathy.


ALLEN: When Madoff faced a judge almost three years ago for orchestrating an estimated $80 billion Ponzi scheme , and charities alone lost a billion dollars, his victims gathered at the courthouse, their outrage clear.

Unidentified Man: I think the only thing he's sorry about is that he got caught.

ALLEN: And now many feel victimized again as the Madoffs do television interviews talking about their own tough times while launching books with their side of the story.

Ms. RUTH MADOFF: We took pills and woke up the next day.

ALLEN: Madoff 's estranged wife Ruth talking about how the couple tried to commit suicide, and Bernie Madoff in a jailhouse interview.

Ms. BARBARA WALTERS: And so he is happier there than he was on the outside.

ALLEN: And Mrs. Madoff tells her story live on the "Today" show Monday.

Mr. RICHARD FRIEDMAN (Madoff Victim): I don't think anything the Madoffs say, ever, you can really believe in because they've been proven liars.

Ms. CYNTHIA FRIEDMAN (Madoff Victim): It just makes me ill. It really does.

ALLEN: Richard and Cynthia Friedman say they're still trying to figure out how much they lost while putting off retirement. And today reaction to the Madoff interviews has been spiking on Internet news websites and social media , with more Madoff victims venting. "Did they try to smother themselves in a big bag of money," writes a woman in California who says she lost millions. Welling and Baker say they've received a small amount of compensation money, but they're in the minority. Most victims can only hope the Madoffs ' books raise more money that somehow find its way to them. Ron Allen , NBC News, New York.