July 30, 2014

Florida Trend's Floridian of the Year

Fla. Newsmakers of 2009

People who made an impact in business, economy, science, environment, government, education, sports, philanthropy, media and our fallen soldiers.

Business and the Economy
» Arthur Nadel

Arthur Nadal
Arthur Nadel’s investors lost an estimated $170 million.
Though a piker next to Bernard Madoff, the part-time Palm Beacher whose scam fell apart as 2008 ended, Sarasota money manager Arthur Nadel concocted his own variant of the Ponzi schemes that detonated so conspicuously across 2009's financial landscape.
A tailor's son, Nadel came to Sarasota in 1978 and was disbarred a few years later for improperly using escrow money while an attorney in New York. He flopped in business and for a time played piano in bars until he got into money management, churned out eye-popping returns and became a big shot local philanthropist. His scheme took in $400 million before collapsing. Investors lost $170 million, estimates receiver Burton Wiand of Wiand Guerra King.

Wiand had a busy 2009, selling Nadel's property, trying to claw back the $30 million to $40 million in false profits some people were paid and preparing litigation against attorneys and others who dealt with Nadel but didn't detect or expose
his scheme.

"If we're successful there, those would be large dollar amounts also," Wiand says. Nadel, who turned 77 on New Year's Day, sits in jail in New York — in the same facility where Madoff was taken after his arrest. The federal public defender for him, Mark Gombiner, says Nadel hasn't been able to make bail. — Mike Vogel

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