Brown, a 61-year-old widow in Danbury, Conn. who raised her children as a single parent, says she thought her life savings were safe with Madoff. Her brother and 91-year-old mother made the same mistake. She explained her story in a letter to Judge Chin.
"I was widowed at the age of 39 and left with two children to raise. I took my husband's life insurance money and invested with Madoff Investment Securities. Now I find that the investments I thought I owned and would carry me through my retirement years were non-existent. I am 61 years old and not yet collecting Social Security, so I am presently trying to find employment. I have had to move my mother in with me, as she lost all her money with Mr. Madoff, too. I have had to pay for home renovations to accommodate her needs and am trying to make ends meet.
"Mr. Madoff has wreaked havoc on our family. I have never lived beyond our means and had hoped that we were secure with our investments. Now, we have been cheated by Mr. Madoff."NEXT: The Stewarts: They never knew Madoff