Ruth Madoff Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth
What is Ruth Madoff’s net worth?
Ruth Madoff is an American businesswoman who has a net worth of $2 million. Ruth Madoff is best known for being the wife of convicted financial fraudster Bernie Madoff. Before his massive fraud was exposed, Ruth also served as the director of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Bernie Madoff died in prison on April 14, 2021 at the age of 82. Ruth Madoff was portrayed by Blythe Danner in the 2016 TV miniseries “Madoff” and Michelle Pfeiffer in the 2017 HBO movie “The Wizard of Lies”. Cate Blanchett used Madoff as the inspiration for her Oscar winning performance in the film “Blue Jasmine”.
According to a court filing made in March 2009, Bernie and Ruth Madoff’s net worth at the time of his arrest was a shade under $1 billion. That net worth was comprised of $138 million in cash, real estate and securities plus approximately $700 million in the value of Bernie’s interest in his investment firm. Before the fraud they owned a $7 million Manhattan apartment, an $8 million home in The Hamptons, an $11 million home in Palm Beach and a $1 million property in France. All of their properties were auctioned off after his conviction to satisfy debts and clawbacks.
The United States Government allowed her to keep $2.5 million worth of her and Bernie’s former fortune.
For two years, Ruth lived with her sister Sondra and her husband Marvin Wiener at their home in Florida. In February 2022 Sondra and Marvin died in a murder-suicide.
From 2012 to 2014 Ruth lived with her son Andrew at his home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. After his death in 2014 she rented a modest one-bedroom apartment in the same town. Today she reportedly lives in a $4+ million beachfront mansion in Old Greenwich that is owned by Susan Elkin, her son Mark’s widow. Susan purchased the home in June 2001 for $1.8 million. She listed it for sale in November 2016 for $6.7 million but did not accept any offers. She listed it again in October 2021 for $4.25 million.
After being sued by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, Ruth agreed to leave all of her assets to the victim’s trust upon her death. She is required to give Picard regular reports on all expenditures over $100.
Ruth Madoff was born Ruth Alpern in Queens, New York on May 18, 1941. She was raised in Laurelton, Queens, the daughter of an accountant named Saul and her mother Sara. After graduating from Far Rockaway High School Ruth attended Queens College where she graduated in 1961 with a degree in Psychology. In the early 1990s Ruth went back to school to earn Master of Science degree from New York University, with a concentration in nutrition. She graduated in 1992.
Ruth met Bernie Madoff while they were both students at Far Rockaway high school. He was born three years earlier. In 1959, when she was 18 and he was 21, Ruth and Bernie married. A year later Bernie founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC with $55,000 in startup capital – $5,000 of which represented his own life savings earned working as a lifeguard, and the other $50,000 being a loan from Ruth’s father Saul. Saul also referred several of his friends to invest with Bernie, an early such investor was a man named Carl Shapiro who came to Madoff with an additional $100,000.
Using computer very early computer technology to match bid and ask quotes on the markets, Madoff was instrumental in helping form the NASDAQ exchange. Along the way, his firm grew into one of the largest “market maker” firms on Wall Street – executing large trading orders from retail clients. Madoff’s firm made the majority of its profits through payment of order flow, the practice where his firm simply earns a fee for executing someone else’s stock order. This practice would later become more well-known thanks to online stock firms like Robinhood.
Outside of being a market maker, Madoff’s firm managed assets for wealthy clients. This arm of the business would later prove to be one of the largest financial frauds of all time. For many years, Madoff clients were extremely happy to earn 15%+ annual returns, even in years when the markets struggled. Outside critics called his consistently-high returns “mathematically impossible.” The critics were right. Madoff’s firm was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme that took new money to pay old money those large gains.
Ruth was a director at the firm and reportedly managed the books. She has claimed that she had no idea of the fraud during her time working with her husband.
Madoff’s scheme wiped out the fortunes of thousands of investors and charities. Some notable celebrities including Kevin Bacon and Steven Spielberg were caught up partially in the fraud. At the time of his arrest, Madoff clients thought they collectively controlled $65 billion. In reality, they collectively LOST $18 billion. The statements they received were fake. More than 15,000 claims were filed against Madoff.
In June 2009, Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison. He died in prison in April 2021.
Bernie and Ruth had two sons, Mark and Andrew. Both sons worked for their father as did Bernie’s brother Peter and his daughter Shana.
In the aftermath of Bernie’s fraud, Mark committed suicide in 2010. Andrew died of cancer in 2014.
In February 2022, Ruth’s sister Sondra and husband Marvin Weiner, were found dead in their Florida home as a result of a murder-suicide. Ruth famously lived with Sondra and Marvin for many years in the wake of Bernie’s arrest.
In 1980, Bernie and Ruth paid $250,000 for an oceanfront mansion in Montauk, New York. The Madoffs soon performed an extensive and expensive renovation. In 2009 the home was sold at auction for $9.4 million, $660,000 over the asking price. The 1.5-acre property, which has 180 feet of ocean frontage, was placed on the market again in 2018 for $21 million. The price was lowered to $17 million in late 2020. It is currently for sale for $16.5 million:
In 1984 Bernie and Ruth bought a penthouse at 133 East 64th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This property was seized by the government in 2008 and sold in 2010 for $8 million.
In Palm Beach, Florida, Ruth and Bernie owned a 9,000 square foot waterfront mansion. This home was listed for sale by the US government in February 2010 for $7.25 million and sold in October 2010 for $5.65 million.
They also owned a modest 3-bedroom apartment in the French Riviera town of Antibes. This apartment was estimated to be worth around $1.5 million in 2009.