An undisclosed amount of Norman Braman's millions goes to Heaven

By now you've probably heard about Bernard Madoff, the scam artist who, by defrauding a bunch of banks and rich guys through a giant Ponzi scheme, cost the world $50 billion, essentially taking a steaming dump on the huge dump that already was our global economy.

Among Madoff's prey were the rich of Palm Beach, and his victims included one of the richest people we know: Norman Braman (above), the auto magnate and former owner of the Philadephia Eagles.

Braman lately has been in the news for another reason: His lawsuit against the city and county's "Megaplan" stalled the Marlins' planned Little Havana stadium from opening until at least 2012.

The reason we bring it up: We met with Braman at his BMW dealership Wednesday, a couple of days before his fleecing by Madoff was reported. If Braman was aware of the scam, he didn't seem too concerned. In fact he didn't seem too concerned about anything, least of all the chance that the Megaplan might actually come to fruition. What was his quote? Oh, yeah: "I have every confidence that the city and county's proposal will never come to fruition."

Not to give too much away before our story about Braman is published tomorrow, but we don't think it would be wise for Miami-Dade to forget about him just yet. Never scoff at a billionaire. Especially not one with a penchant for humiliating local politicians.

-- Gus Garcia-Roberts

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