Report: Madoff Fooled Big Names - TheStreet

Some big guns in the investing world fell victim to Bernard Madoff's alleged Ponzi scheme, according to a published media report.

New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon,

GMAC

( GJM) Chairman J. Ezra Merkin and former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman were among those with exposure to Madoff's firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, according to the report, which

The Wall Street Journal

published on its Web site.

France's BNP Paribas, Japan's

Nomura Holdings

(NMR) - Get Report

and Switzerland's Neue Privat Bank also had exposure, according to anonymous sources cited by the report.

The

Journal

also reported that at least three funds of funds, which raise money from investors and then invest it in hedge funds, may have significant losses in connection with Madoff, the former vice chairman of the

Nasdaq

stock market. They are Fairfield Greenwich Group and Tremont Capital Management of New York and Maxam Capital Management LLC of Darien, Conn.

Madoff, 70, was arrested Thursday for allegedly engineering what could be the biggest investment fraud in history. The

Securities and Exchange Commission

characterized the alleged scheme as "stunning" and "epic" in proportion.

According to an SEC complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, Madoff allegedly informed two senior employees that the investment advisory business was a fraud and had been insolvent for years. According to the complaint, Madoff told these employees that he was "finished," that "it's all just one big lie," and that it was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme."

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.