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His scheme defrauded and looted investors in a string of Long Island real-estate deals, leaving names off mortgage documents and funneling sales profits to others, such as the Kabbalah Centre, which came out $2.9 million ahead.

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Spirituality for Kids was Madonna’s pet project before Raising Malawi, and she served as its chairman of the board. Spirituality for Kids has also raised at least $5 million for Malawi.With curious villagers and invited photographers crowding around, she laid the ceremonial first brick for a planned $15 million girls’ academy, a noble mission in a nation where only 27 percent of girls attend secondary school.In a blog post on the website of her Raising Malawi foundation, she wrote that the brick, inscribed with the words “Dare to Dream,” was “not just the bedrock to a school—it is a foundation for our shared future.”Last week it was announced that the future would not be built.“I want credibility as a philanthropic organization,” Madonna told the $2,500-a-plate crowd.Keep up with this story and more To understand what went wrong, one has to look at Madonna’s partner in the foundation, a mysterious and controversial organization called the Kabbalah Centre International, which is now a focus of federal investigators.For $24.95 you can also buy the Rav’s book Immortality, which explores “the origins of death and the spiritual tools necessary for its final disappearance from the world.”A recently filed bankruptcy lawsuit has alleged that the Kabbalah Centre was a beneficiary of a $70 million Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Goldan, LLC, that ended with the criminal prosecution and conviction of Mark Goldman, a Goldan principal.

Goldman was often seen at the Manhattan temple, introduced as an attorney by millionaire garment businessmen.

(Madonna declined to speak directly to NEWSWEEK for this article.)Kabbalah means “receive” in Hebrew, and that’s certainly what it has meant to the Bergs.

Four of the five Berg families live in Beverly Hills mansions owned and remodeled by the center.

100% mortgage 125% loan 2-1 buydown 2/28 adjustable-rate mortgage 3-2-1 buydown 3-6-3 rule 3/27 adjustable-rate mortgage - 3/27 arm 5 C's of credit 60-plus delinquency 80-10-10 mortgage A-credit AAA tenant abandonment abatement ability to pay able abnormal sale above building standard absentee owner absolute liability abstract of judgment abstract update abut accelerated payment acceleration clause acceptance access bond accessibility accession accessory building accident accommodation paper accommodation party accommodative monetary policy accord and satisfaction accordion feature account accounts payable accounts receivable accredited advisor in insurance Accredited Management Organization (AMO) Accredited Resident Manager (ARM) accrual method accrued depreciation accrued items accrued items, active accrued items, passive acknowledgment acquisition appraisal acre acreage zoning act of God active box active tranche actual age actual cash value actual damages (and special damages) actual notice ADC loan add-backs add-on interest addendum addition additional collateral additional hedge additional insured additional living expense additional principal payment adhesion insurance contract adjunction adjustable rate Adjustable Rate Mortgage adjusted premium adjustment bureau adjustment date adjustment interval adjustment period adjustment provision advance fee advance rate adverse financial change condition adverse financial selection adverse possession adverse selection aesthetic value affidavit of title affirmation affordability affordability analysis affordability index affordable housing after acquired clause after repair value (ARV) after-acquired collateral age-life depreciation aged debt agency by ratification agency closing agency debenture agency disclosure aggregate adjustment aggregate annual deductible aggregate limit aggrieved agreed amount clause agreement of sale agricultural lien air rights alien insurer alienation clause all equity rate Alliance of American Insurers allocation of purchase price allodial system alluvion alt-a alternative mortgage alternative or specialty investments amenities American agency system American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers American Insurance Association American Land Title Association (ALTA) policy American standard Americans with Disabilities Act amortization amortization method amortization schedule amortization tables amortization term amortize amortized amortized loan amortized note amount financed anchor tenant annexation annual aggregate limit annual debt service annual mortgage constant annual mortgagor statement Annual Percentage Rate annual statement anticipation apartment association apartment building apartments and multifamily housing Appleton rule applicable federal rate application application fee application for letter of credit appointed actuary appointments apportionment apportionment clause appraisal appraisal clause appraisal fee appraisal report appraised value appraiser approval appurtenance appurtenant easement appurtenant structure APR arbitration clause architecture area ARM index ARM margin artesian well Article 9 as-built drawings asbestos asbestos containing materials (ACM) assemblage assessable insurance assessment company assessment insurance assessment rolls assessment valuation asset backed credit default swap (ABCDS) asset conversion loan asset depreciation range system (ADR) asset depreciation risk asset financing asset for asset swap asset management fee asset sale asset valuation asset valuation reserve asset-backed security asset-based finance asset-based lenders asset-based lending asset-liability committee (ALCO) assignment clause assignment of lease assignment of mortgage assignment of rents assignment of trade assignment to creditors association of unit owners association or syndicate pool assumable mortgage assumed interest rate assumption assumption clause assumption fee assumption of mortgage at call at risk rules attachment attestation clause attic attorn attorney's opinion of title attornment attractive nuisance auctioneer authorization to sell automated underwriting system automatic coverage automatic reinstatement clause avalize average daily balance average daily balance method average downtime average free rent average life average occupancy average outstanding balance average settlement period average ticket avulsion B/C Loan back end ratio back title letter back to back letter of credit back-end fee or commission back-to-back commitment back-to-back letters of credit back-to-back loans backfill backup offer bad credit loans bad debt bad debt provision bad debt reserve bad paper bad-faith estimate bailee's customer insurance bailing out balance balance transfer balance-sheet loan balloon loan balloon mortgage balloon note balloon payment balloon risk bank bank bill swap bid rate (BBSY) bank credit bank discount bank guarantee Bank Letter Of Credit Policy bank loan bank pool loan Bank Rate bank term loan banker's acceptance bankrupt bankruptcy Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 bankruptcy court bankruptcy trustee Banx Quote Money Markets Index bargain and sale deed base interest rate base loan amount base premium base principal balance base rate base rent Basel I Basel II basic form rates basic limit basic limits of liability basic mortality table basic premium basis point basis rate swap basis swap BBA mortgage approvals bear flattener bear steepener before and after method below grade beneficiary clause beneficiary of trust bespoke CDO best efforts mortgage lock best-interests-of-creditors test betterment bi-monthly mortgage bi-weekly mortgage loan bilateral contract bilateral credit limit bilateral facility bimonthly mortgage binding receipt binomial distribution bird dog biweekly mortgage blanket assignment blanket credit line blanket lien blanket limit blanket mortgage blanket rate blemished borrowers blended insurance program blended rate blighted areas block limits block of policies blockbusting blueprint Board of Realtors(R) boiler plate Bond Market Association (BMA) swap book of business book runner boot borderline risk borrow borrower borrower's note borrowing base borrowing power of securities Boston plan bottomland bottomry boundary bow tie loan branch office breach of contract break fee break-even payment rate break-even ratio bridge financing bridge insurance bridge insurance for bridges under construction bridge loan bring down search British thermal unit (BTU) broad evidence rule broad form broad form cause of loss Broad Index Synthetic Trust Offering (BISTRO) broker agent broker loan broker loan rate broker's call brokerage business brokerage department brokerage fee brokerage general agent brokerage supervisor brownfield brownstone budget mortgage buffer zone build out build to suit buildable acres builder buydown loan builder's risk coverage forms builder-financed construction building code building efficiency ratio building line building restrictions building society building standards bulk sale bull flattener bull steepener bullet loan bullet repayment bundle of legal rights bureau insurer Bureau of Land Management burning ratio business and personal property coverage form business credit business finance companies business income coverage form business insurance business interruption insurance business property and liability insurance package bust-up takeover buy-back deductible buy-up buydown buydown mortgage buyer's agent buyer's broker buyer's expenses buyer's remorse cadastral map calamity call call call loan call money market call money rate callable loan Canadian overnight money market rate Canadian rollover mortgage cancellation clause cancellation of debt cap capacity capacity of parties capital export capital improvements capital investment loan capital mortgage capital note Capital Purchase Program (CPP) capital shares capitalized cost reduction capped note cargo insurance carryback financing carrying charge cash (or funds) available for distribution (CAD or FAD) cash advance cash advance rate cash back mortgage refinance loan cash basis loan cash collateral cash credit cash deficiency agreement cash management bill cash method cash on cash yield cash out of vested benefits cash rent cash yield on cost (CYC) cash-flow financing cash-out refinancing casualty casualty catastrophe catastrophe futures catastrophe hazard catastrophe loss cause of loss form cease and desist order ceiling central business district certificate for automobile receivables Certificate of Claim certificate of completion certificate of deposit index (CODI) certificate of discharge certificate of eligibility certificate of insurance certificate of reasonable value (CRV) certificate of sale Certificate of Veteran Status Certificates for Amortizing Revolving Debts certificates of automobile receivables (CAR) Certified Consumer Debt Specialist (CCDS) certified general appraiser Certified Mortgage Consultant Certified Property Manager Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist cestui que vie chain of title change in occupancy or use clause change of beneficiary provision change order Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 13 Chapter 7 character loan charge card charge off chattel mortgage circulation factor Civil Rights Act of 1866 civil wrong claim claim agent claim department claim dilution claim expense claim provision claim report claimant class rate classified loan clause clean clear space clause clear span clear span facility clearance letter clearinghouse funds CLO closed account fee closed period closed-end credit closed-end mortgage closing statement cluster housing clustering CMBX Indexes CMG plan co-borrower co-investment co-investment program co-ownership co-signer code of ethics COF Index COFI coinsurance clause coinsurance limit coinsurance penalty coinsurance percentage coinsurance requirement coinsurer collateral collateral creditor collateral management collateral note collateral surety collateralized collateralized borrowing and lending obligation (CBLO) collateralized debt obligation collateralized debt obligation cubed (CDO-cubed) collateralized debt obligation squared (CDO-squared) Collaterized Loan Obligation collection float color of title comaker combined loan to value ratio combined single limit commencement of coverage commercial acre commercial bank commercial blanket bond commercial credit commercial credit insurance commercial finance commercial forgery policy commercial forms commercial insurance company commercial leasehold insurance commercial lender commercial lending commercial lines commercial loan commercial mortgage commercial mortgage broker commercial mortgage lender commercial mortgage-backed security commercial package policy commercial property commercial property floater commercial property policy commission of authority commissioner of insurance commissioner's values commitment fee commitment letter committed facility common area assessments common area maintenance (CAM) common areas common elements common law common wall Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) commuted cash value companion tranche comparable sales comparative unit method compensating balances plan competent party competitive bid option competitive market analysis (CMA) completion bond component depreciation compound interest comprehensive glass insurance compulsory insurance computerized loan origination (CLO) concealment concurrent causation condition subsequent conditional conditional claim rate conditional commitment conditional prepayment rate (CPR) conditional sale conditional use permit conditions for qualification condominium conversion condominium hotel condominium insurance condominium owners' association conduit borrower confession of judgment clause confidentiality confirmed irrevocable letter of credit confirmed letter of credit (L/C) conforming loan conforming loan limit conforming mortgage conformity Connie Lee consequential loss conservation consolidated mortgage consolidated mortgage bond consolidation loan constant default rate (CDR) constant maturity constant maturity credit default swap constant maturity swap constant maturity treasury constant payment constant payment loan constant percent prepayment (CPP) Constant Proportion Debt Obligation (CPDO) construction documents construction financing construction insurance construction interest expense construction loan construction loan note construction management construction to permanent loan constructive notice consultant consumer credit consumer credit counseling consumer debt consumer finance consumer interest consumer loan consumer reporting agency contents contiguous space contingency contingency listing contingency reserve contingent credit default swap (CCDS) contingent fund contingent payments continuing education requirement continuous compounding continuous operation clause contour map contract carrier contract for deed/land contract contract for sale contract knavery contract of adhesion contract rent contraction risk contractionary monetary policy contributing location control control provision controlled business controlled business arrangement controlled insurance convention blank convention values conventional mortgage conventional pass-through convertibility clause Convertible ARM convertible loan cooperative insurance cooperative mortgage core capital core properties corporate credit corporate guaranty corporate inflation-linked securities corporate lien corporeal property correspondency system COSI cosigner cost approach appraisal cost approach improvement value cost approach land value cost of debt capital cost of funds cost of money Cost of Savings Index (COSI Index) cost recovery cost-of-sale percentage costs plus contract countersignature country limit Countrywide rates Countrywide rules courier fee courtesy to brokers covenant covenant against encumbrances covenant not to complete covenant of quiet enjoyment covenant of right to convey covenant of seisin cover note coverage part covered foreign currency loan covered loss covered margin covered person cramdown creative financing credit credit agency credit agreement credit analysis credit analyst credit application credit bureau credit card credit card balance transfer credit card insurance credit check credit committee credit control credit cycle credit default contract credit default insurance credit default swap credit derivative credit enhancement credit facility credit freeze credit grantor credit history credit inquiry credit instrument credit limit credit line credit loss ratio credit market credit monitoring service credit netting credit note credit quality credit rating credit rationing credit repair credit report credit repository credit risk certification credit score credit scoring credit sleeve credit squeeze credit sweep credit tenant credit utilization rate creditor creditor's committee creditors' settlement creditors' turnover creditworthiness creditworthy criticism cromie rule crop insurance cross border financing cross defaulting cross-collateralization crowd funding crowding out Crown Loan cumulative discount rate curable depreciation curb appeal cure period current exposure method current face current index value current occupancy current portion of long-term debt current production rate current value currently insured status curtsey custom adjustable rate debt structure (CARDS) customers' net debit balance daily report data processing coverage date of maturity dating datum day loan deadbeat deal structure dealer loan dealer median prepayment speed dealer paper death put debasement debenture debenture redemption reserve debit balance debris removal clause debt debt accordion debt bomb debt cancellation debt cancellation contract debt collector debt consolidation debt coverage ratio debt displacement debt elimination debt exchangeable for common stock (DECS) debt fatigue debt instrument debt management debt management ratio debt overhang debt retirement debt security debt service debt service coverage ratio debt settlement debt signaling debt snowball debt swap debt to credit ratio debt to GDP ratio debt to income ratio debt to worth ratio debt/EBITDA ratio debtaholic debtor debtor in possession debtor-in-possession financing deceased alert declaration declaration of restrictions declination dedication deductible clause deed in lieu of foreclosure deed in trust deed of reconveyance Deed of Release Deed of Trust deed restrictions defamation default default judgment default rate default risk defaulted interest defeasance clause defeasance process defeased securities deferral principal deferred interest deferred maintenance deferred maintenance account (DMA) deferred payment deferred payment letter of credit deferred payment method deficiency judgment degree of combined leverage (DCL) degree of financial leverage (DFL) degree of operating leverage (DOL) degree of risk delayed exchange delayed issuance pool deleverage delinquency delinquent delinquent mortgage demand clause demand line of credit demand loan demised premises demising wall demolition clause demolition insurance density density zoning dependent properties deposit or provisional premium Depository Institutions Act of 1982 Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act depreciable real property depreciation insurance depreciation recapture depth tables descent description desecuritization design-build designated agent developer development loan deviation devise devisee devisor difference in conditions direct access notes (DANs) direct lease direct loan direct loss direct reduction mortgage direct sales comparisons approach direct selling system direct write off method direct writer direct written premium director of insurance directors' indemnities disappearing deductible disaster myopia discharge discharge of lien disclosure authorization form discount interest discount loan discount point discount window discounted bill discounted properties discounted value table discrete compounding discretionary ARM discrimination dishonor disposition fee dispossess proceedings distraint divided cover divisible contract clause document needs list documentary tax stamps documentation preparation fee documentation requirements documents dollar bond index linked securities (dollar BILS) dollar limit dollar roll dollar stop domestic insurer dominant tenement double leverage double net lease Dow Jones CDX Indexes dower down payment Down REIT downzoning draw period dry closing dry loan dry mortgage dual agency dual index mortgage dual life stock company due date due-on-sale clause duplex duration gap duress dwelling dwelling forms dynamic gap early amortization early occupancy earn-outs earnings credit rate earnings insurance earnings withholding order earth movement earthquake insurance easement by condemnation easement by necessity easement by prescription easement in gross easy monetary policy EBITDA - capex economic accrual of interest economic life economic obsolescence effective annual interest rate effective gross income (EGI) effective gross rent (EGR) effective interest rate effective rent efficiency unit ejectment electrical or electrical apparatus exemption clause electronic authentication electronic data processing coverage electronic wallet elevation drawing elevator collision coverage eligible accounts Ellwood technique emblement Emergency Home Finance Act of 1970 Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR) employment contract empty creditor empty nester encapsulation encumbrance end loan endorsement extending period of indemnity enjoin enterprise zone entitlement environmental audit environmental impact statement Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) epitome Equal Credit Opportunity Act equalization board equalization factor Equifax equilibrium rate of interest equipment breakdown insurance equipment floater equitable conversion equitable lien equitable mortgage equitable right of redemption equitization equity equity buildup equity grabbing equity injection equity kicker equity linked security (ELKS) equity mortgage equity note equity of redemption equity participation loan equity sharing equity sharing loan equity stripping equity value errors and omissions insurance escape clause escheat escrow abuse escrow account escrow agent escrow agreement escrow analysis escrow company escrow contract escrow disbursement escrow fund escrow instructions escrow payment esoteric debt estate at sufferance estate at will estate for years estate from period to period estate in land estate plan estimated closing costs estimated hazard insurance estimated premium estimated property taxes estoppel estoppel certificate estovers et al.

Illustration by Guekit: Nina Berman / Sipa (Philip Berg); Mike Hutchings / Reuters-Landov (Madonna); East News-Polaris (Karen Berg); Amos Gumulira / AFP-Getty Images (Michael Berg); Michelly Rall / Getty Images (sign)One year ago, Madonna squatted in the rust-colored dirt of a sprawling empty lot outside Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world.

A bankruptcy trustee has sued the Centre to recover the $2.9 million in funds that his complaint says were “wrongfully conveyed” to the Centre. There have also been several civil suits filed recently alleging that the Kabbalah Centre had exploited the trust of wealthy followers in order to pillage their bank accounts.