In anticipation of the 5th anniversary of the day that those investing directly or indirectly with Bernie Madoff found out it was a Ponzi scheme, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL interviewed several victims. Here is that article (sub. req.)
Interestingly, only one of them, Helen Chaitman who is a lawyer, is doing well. Eventually she will recover about 80 percent of her original investment. Of course, she will receive none of the make-believe gains. The other four have been through the financial and emotional buzzsaw. They will probably never be okay.
Yet, as we are reading in the media, Madoff has made a nice life for himself in prison. What most are hoping for is that through the current trial of his five employees enough will come out to also arrest his son and wife. Few doubt they didn't know what was going on. The challenge is finding the evidence that they assisted with the fraud.