NEW YORK, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The Picower Foundation, ranked as the 71st largest in the United States, has announced it is closing because of losses incurred in the Bernard Madoff scandal.
Barbara Picower, who started the foundation in 1989 with her husband Jeffrey, said Friday that all its money was invested with Madoff, The New York Times reported. At one time, the foundation had $1 billion in assets.
Madoff's alleged fraud "has had a devastating impact on tens of thousands of lives as well as numerous philanthropic foundations and non-profit organizations," she said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors say Madoff ran a pyramid scheme, using money he received from investors to pay those who had gotten in earlier. The Picower Foundation is the second charitable organization to close in the few days since his arrest.
The Picower Foundation has given millions of dollars to establish the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and to the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and schools in Palm Beach County in Florida. Its donation of $50 million to MIT was the largest private gift to the school up to that time.