, Salem, MA

Local News

December 12, 2008

Lappin Foundation folds abruptly

SALEM — The Robert I. Lappin Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to strengthening Jewish culture, has ceased to exist after losing money in a multibillion-dollar Wall Street scandal.

The organization's five-member staff has been let go and all its programs abruptly discontinued. "It's very emotional," said a stunned director Deborah Coltin, explaining that this development came today without any warning.

"It's been a terrible day," added the charity's press spokeswoman Amy Powell. "We do unbelievable work and we touch so many lives and it's devastating to have to stop doing it."

The foundation and its driving force, Robert I. Lappin, 83, had been providing more than $1.5 million per year to various charities. The foundation listed more than $7 million in assets on a 2006 tax filing.

"It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement," said a press release from Lappin. "The Foundations' programs have touched thousands of lives over many years in our efforts to help keep our children Jewish."

The statement revealed, briefly, that money necessary to fund its programs had been entrusted to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Madoff was arrested on Thursday by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and any remaining investment funds frozen.

The government has alleged that Madoff told two employees that his company was "all just one big lie" and "basically a giant Ponzi scheme" with losses totalling $50 billion. (A Ponzi scheme involves paying out to the first investors money from later investors, while earning no real income.)

"The money needed to fund the programs of the Lappin Foundations is gone," said the charity's press release.

For more, please see Saturday's edition of The Salem News.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Comments Tracker