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Madoff Scheme Touched Close to Home

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Madoff Scheme Touched Close to Home

J. Ira Harris and his wife Nicki are thought to be among the many victims of Bernard Madoff's $50-billion Ponzi scheme.

The names of J. Ira Harris, the former Chicago investment banker and Pritzker Organization vice-chairman, and his wife Nicki appear on a 162-page court filing said to list investors in Bernard Madoff's $50-billinois Ponzi scheme.

Two 1987 Harris family trusts also appear on a separate list of Madoff’s Illinois customers that was obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business. Neither list included investment amounts.

Other Chicago-area residents included in the bankruptcy document include:

    * Pearson Street Capital LLC, affiliated with Berger Management Services, where a woman who answered the phone said it was a family office associated with veteran real estate developer Miles Berger.

    * Howard Weiss, a retired Chicago lawyer and partner in the Weiss family foundation. His wife, Molly, declined to comment from their Palm Beach residence.

    * The late Barbara Laird of suburban Lake Forest. Her son-in-law Roger Williams says Ms. Laird invested “a little over” $100,000 with Madoff. She died last month without knowing about the alleged fraud, he said.

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