Eyes Wide Shut

Peg Nadel—and others who benefited from her husband Art Nadel’s Ponzi scheme—say they never knew what he was doing. But did they just refuse to see the truth? The answer may lie in a mysterious black box at the heart of the crime.
  1. On a quiet afternoon in June, Peg Nadel, 76, paces the kitchen of her east Sarasota home, suffering through a debt collection call. “My friend,” she sighs into the phone, “my status has been in the trash. I can’t make any monthly payments. I struggle just to live. Hopefully in a month things will change.” In a month, a judge will decide whether Nadel—who has filed an affidavit that she is destitute and needs money for “sustenance” and medication—can access $30,000 frozen in her checking accounts since January 2009. That was when her husband—a hedge fund guru and jazz pianist—went on a secretive 13-day “vacation,” as he would later describe it to the FBI, to the great musical cities of New Orleans, Austin, and San Francisco, leaving the largest Ponzi scheme in Southwest Florida history in ruins behind him.

    Peg Nadel, of course, is the fifth and final wife of Arthur Nadel, a disbarred lawyer and convicted “mini-Madoff” who died in prison on April 16, 2012. He was 79. Along with Neil a...

The complete text of “Eyes Wide Shut” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on sarasotamagazine.com.

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