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Dealers Succumb to Madoff’s Schemes

bildeIt seems that no one is safe from the wake of destruction and the money pit that is known as Bernie Madoff. A recent set of documents files in the U.S. Bankruptcy Coupt in New York expose some well known names in the dealer business: Robert Potamkin of Potamkin Automotive in New York and South Florida; Robert Rosenthal, head of Rosenthal Automotive in the Washington area; Miami dealer Norman Braman; Peter Paris, a vice president of Potamkin Cadillac; the employee profit-sharing plan of Bay Chevrolet in Rockville Centre, N.Y.; and funds from the Minneapolis dealership Metro Motor Imports Inc. Bernie has been charged with milking billions of dollars form clients around the country and the world in what’s described as the world’s largest ponzi scheme (also known as pyramid schemes).

There are no actual values of the amount lost by the dealers in question, but Robert Potamkin was quoted as saying, “I lost enough to be aggravated about it. Luckily, we believe in diversification.” Apparently, several listings for the Potamkin group is the family’s charitable trust fund are in the documents. In a Friday, February 6th phone call, Potamkin said that fund may have lost $1 million. But he said his personal accounts, which also lost about $1 million, could recoup most of the loss through insurance.

In this already shaky time for dealers, a poor investment can spell absolute destruction for a dealer. Keeping your online and offline presence intact is getting harder with people like Bernie Madoff running around. Hopefully, his trial (and conviction) will serve as a deterrent from others who wish to do the same in the future.