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Latin America round up: Madoff maddens Latin Americans

Rio de Janeiro came in a close second to New York for Madoff losses according to locals in the Brazilian city. Reports continue to emerge that despite the big losses few customers will report them because much of the invested money was undeclared. "Go to the country club in Rio and the only conversation is about how much each person has lost," says a local banker.

In Argentina, investors have lost up to $700 million. Like investors throughout the region, the Argentines were exposed through Santander. On February 19, Santander, which allegedly lost $3.1 billion through Madoff investments, announced that 70% of affected clients had already executed exchange agreements and only 7% to 9% rejected the bank’s compensation agreement.

In Chile, three banks were reportedly exposed: Celfin Capital with $10 million and almost 100 clients defrauded; Larrain Vial with $5.5 million and Santander with about $100 million. Celfin compensated all clients in full on December 19 – the first to do so.

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