US

5 years after Madoff fraud exposed, WWII vet still rues day he met 'good old Bernie'

  • Morton Chalek, 91, a WWII vet and a victim of Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, listens during an interview in the apartment he shares with another victim, on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 in New York.  With the fifth anniversary of  Madoff's fraud approaching, Chalek is among a legion of former investors still struggling to move on after seeing their life savings go up in flames.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Morton Chalek, 91, a WWII vet and a victim of Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, listens during an interview in the apartment he shares with another victim, on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 in New York. With the fifth anniversary of Madoff's fraud approaching, Chalek is among a legion of former investors still struggling to move on after seeing their life savings go up in flames. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Victims of Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, Morton Chalek, 91, left, a WWII vet, and his friend Fran Reiss, 79, a retired educator,  have a conversation at the apartment they share, on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 in New York.  With the fifth anniversary of Madoff's fraud approaching, Chalek and Reiss are among a legion of former investors still struggling to move on after seeing their life savings go up in flames.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Victims of Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, Morton Chalek, 91, left, a WWII vet, and his friend Fran Reiss, 79, a retired educator, have a conversation at the apartment they share, on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 in New York. With the fifth anniversary of Madoff's fraud approaching, Chalek and Reiss are among a legion of former investors still struggling to move on after seeing their life savings go up in flames. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Victims of Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, Morton Chalek, 91, standing, a WWII vet, and his friend Fran Reiss, 79, a retired educator,  pose in the apartment they share, on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 in New York.  With the fifth anniversary of Madoff's fraud approaching, Chalek and Reiss are among a legion of former investors still struggling to move on after seeing their life savings go up in flames.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Victims of Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, Morton Chalek, 91, standing, a WWII vet, and his friend Fran Reiss, 79, a retired educator, pose in the apartment they share, on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 in New York. With the fifth anniversary of Madoff's fraud approaching, Chalek and Reiss are among a legion of former investors still struggling to move on after seeing their life savings go up in flames. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

Bernard Madoff's former clients are still struggling to move on five years after his massive Ponzi scheme was exposed.

World War II vet Morton Chalek says his last account statement with Madoff showed he had $2.3 million. He's still fighting in court to get some of it back.

On Dec. 11, 2008, Madoff told FBI agents that his multibillion-dollar investment advisory business was a fraud. He pleaded guilty and is serving a 150-year prison term in Butner, N.C.

The 90-year-old Chalek now gets by on Social Security, veterans' benefits and the companionship of retired educator Fran Reiss, a close friend who also lost her savings to Madoff.

Five former Madoff employees are on trial in federal court in Manhattan. Testimony resumes Monday.