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Exec bemoans Madoff loss

Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg says the losses on his personal investments with Bernard L. Madoff have done “extraordinary damage” to his philanthropic efforts.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, the DreamWorks Animation SKG chief said it was a “disgrace” that Madoff remained free pending the next phase of his case.

Madoff, 70, is accused of running a $50-billion Ponzi scheme, resulting in massive losses for individual and institutional investors worldwide, including a number of Hollywood figures.

“The first time I heard the name Bernie Madoff was about three weeks ago, when I found out that, you know, he had swindled all this money,” Katzenberg said on CNBC.

“This is extremely painful and humiliating for me,” he said. “It has done extraordinary damage to my philanthropy.”

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Katzenberg’s funds were invested with Madoff via the studio executive’s business manager, Gerald Breslauer, The Times has reported.

Katzenberg didn’t provide details about the scope of his loss. But two sources have told The Times that he lost at least $20 million with Madoff.

Bloomberg News noted that the Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg Foundation listed assets of $22.1 million in 2007, according to a September tax filing.

That Madoff remains free “I think is a disgrace,” Katzenberg told CNBC. “And this guy is living in a $7-million apartment today walking free. There is something very, very wrong.”

Prosecutors are trying to persuade the judge handling the case that Madoff should be imprisoned pending trial.

Katzenberg, 58, serves on the boards of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the Museum of the Moving Image, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, California Institute of the Arts and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He also has been a major fundraiser for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

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tom.petruno@latimes.com


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