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The local Palm Beach Post reported a frosty exchange at a birthday party Saturday night at Mr. Trump’s ultra-exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club, where several furious Madoff clients confronted Robert Jaffe, who not only invested heavily in the disgraced financier but also received a fee for steering other clients to Mr. Madoff.

With Mr. Trump looking on, Mr. Jaffe came close to a physical confrontation with one particularly unhappy Madoff investor. “There were a lot of unhappy campers there,” Mr. Trump told the newspaper.

On financial Web sites, anguished investors have scrounged for information on their savings and retirement funds even as federal investigators try to decipher Mr. Madoff’s tangled books.

“Our dad passed away in August and he had his life savings of $2 million with Madoff,” one poster wrote. “The trust is worthless and his dream of giving his three sons money has vanished.”

Investigators getting their first look at Mr. Madoff’s financial records said Tuesday that they suspect his firm falsified documents to hide massive losses, an official helping to oversee the firm’s liquidation said.

Stephen Harbeck, chief executive of the nonprofit group Securities Investor Protection Corp., told the Associated Press that investigators have discovered the firm used different sets of books to avoid detection.

Veteran financial journalist Robert Powell of marketwatch.com had a first-person account of the Madoff scandal. Not only was his wife’s retirement savings plan handled by Madoff Investment Securities, but her employer was pulled down by the scandal as well.

“In my household, the net effect of the Madoff scheme is that my wife has lost all the money in her 401(k) account and her job as well,” Mr. Powell said.

Gail Hyman, a New York-based consultant to Jewish nonprofit groups, said the scandal has been made even more difficult as the list of victims grows relentlessly.

“It hits very close to home for my clients, and nobody knows when it’s going to stop,” she said. “A lot of good people, a lot of conservative organizations, are getting swept up in this.”

The FBI said Tuesday that it had set up a hot line for investors who think they may have been victimized by Mr. Madoff. The hot-line number is 212/384-2359.

Because Mr. Madoff was prominent in Jewish philanthropic circles, the pain is even more intense among Jewish charitable organizations.

The assets of Massachusetts-based Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, whose programs targeted Jewish youths in the state, was entirely invested with Mr. Madoff, and the charity shut its doors and fired all its employees last week.

Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, predicts the Madoff affair will leave many Jewish charities and foundations struggling for funds and facing closure.

Yeshiva University of New York has taken both a financial and public relations hit, as news of the Madoff indictment came two days before the 84th annual Hannukah banquet at the posh Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. Mr. Madoff had just resigned as treasurer of the school’s board of trustees amid reports that the scandal could cost the school $100 million or more, 10 percent of the school’s endowment.

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