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Bernie Madoff Was Just Trying To “Change The Way Money Was Managed,” Not That Anyone Cares

For about a year now, Bernie Madoff has been holding court with various members of the press about something that’s been plaguing him: the fact that few people if any are willing to give credit where credit is due. Yes, he may have pleaded guilty to a $50 billion crime that ruined countless people’s lives, including those of his wife and children, one of whom committed suicide as a result, but he did a lot of other stuff too, like run a “successful business” for which he won lots of “industry awards” during his “legitimate years.” And, yet, everyone seems to forget all that when his name comes up, much like they conveniently forgot about how Mussolini made the trains run or time, or how Hitler built those wonderful autobahns, or how Ted Bundy made women feel special. And since he’s serving a 150 year sentence, Berns has had lots of time to ponder why his years of legitimate achievements go unmentioned and the one thing he keeps coming back to? Irving Picard, who’s pulled a fast one on you all, by suggesting that Bernie’s crime started wayyyyy before it did, when, in fact, Madoff Securities was only running a Ponzi scheme for barely even 20 years. Examine the evidence Madoff shared with Forbes contributor Diana B. Henriques via email:

Jan. 17, 2011 11:05 A.M. … Also remember that the U.S. Attorney admitted that they had no evidence that the crime started in the 80’s and could establish that Montauk and the N.Y. homes in Ruth’s name were not purchased with tainted funds …

Mar. 10, 2011 7:35 A.M. … I would love to know what evidence [Picard] has to date my crime back to 1983 … THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS NONE.

8:05 A.M. … I say once again the fraud started in the 90’s …

Mar. 18, 2011 9:26 A.M. … I guess I’m obsessed with this START OF CRIME ISSUE.

Don’t you see, idiots of the media?! That’s the real issue here. Not the crime itself but the start of the crime. Do the math.

Oct. 11, 2011 7:20 A.M. … You can do a back of the envelope calculation as follows. From 1963 I made substantial arbitrage profits for the Picower, Shapiro and Chais families joined by the Levy family in 1970. [M]ost of these profits were re­invested and the amounts compounded. In 1970 Saul Alpern formed his partnerships later [run] by Avellino and Bienes. In 1980 I started trading for [French banker] Albert Igoin and his French and Swiss banking associates. All of these accounts averaged about 20% annually and were involved in various forms of convertible arb using bonds, pfds [preferreds], Rts. [rights] and units. [A]nd ALL WERE LEGITIMATE TRADING. THIS CONTINUED THRU THE EARLY 90’S.

Nov. 24, 2011 6:51 P.M. … When you look at my RIDDLE [in the Nov. 23 letter], consider the fact that there was in fact no crime until I did not have enough capital in the firm to cover the losses. There is your real STORY.

The interesting thing here is not that there was an 11-figure fraud, okay? The interesting thing is how long the 11-figure fraud went on. And it stinks to high hell that that slippery fuck Picard and Co. are claiming it dates back to 1983 when it was as recently as 1990 and that you’re all buying it, hook, line and sinker. Come on, people. They’re lawyers. Who are you gonna trust, them or a Ponzi schemer? But don’t feel sorry for Bernie. Feel sorry for yourselves, for what could have been and what never was.

Near the end of that e-mail the clouds of self-deception close in again, and Madoff turns himself into a pitiful martyr: “I made the tragic mistake of trying to change the way money was managed and was successful at the start, but lost my way after a while and refused to admit that I failed at one point.”

HE WAS TRYING TO CHANGE THE WAY MONEY WAS MANAGED! A legitimate way to make Ponzi scheme payments, before it was tragically snuffed out.

Oct. 11, 2011 7:36 A.M. … I will never get over the distortions being presented by everyone as to the poor and now homeless when in fact they all signed documents when opening their accounts that they were sophisticated and had enough wealth to withstand the possible losses of short term trading. I wish I had saved the hundreds of letters I received thanking me for how I was responsible for their happiness over the years and their pleading with me to keep their accounts open when I tried to close them … when I worried about the wreckage I might cause if I couldn’t recover.

You want to know the REAL STORY? The REAL STORY is that the investor agreements specifically authorized BLMIS to make Ponzi scheme payments (which Bernie was trying to get the industry to view as a totally legitimate type of securities transaction, a short term trade if you will) until the money ran out, at which time the actual crime started. And it will haunt Bernie until is final days that the world has been fed lies vis-à-vis the specific time he crossed over from revolutionary to crook.  If you want to be part of the solution rather than the problem, consider making the decision to WAKE UP, people. All caps.

Exclusive: The Secret Madoff Prison Letters [Forbes]

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147 Responses to “Bernie Madoff Was Just Trying To “Change The Way Money Was Managed,” Not That Anyone Cares”

  1. Creepy Clown says:

    Let's not forget John Wayne Gacy was an awesome clown/artist.

  2. G.Dubs says:

    I revolutionized revolutions.

  3. G Smith says:

    he should have put the emphasis on "real" not on "story"

    other than that I have no concerns.

  4. pazzo83 says:

    "You can do a back of the envelope calculation as follows."

    If only we could afford those envelopes…

    – UBS MD

  5. Frat-tastic says:

    Hmm. Hope my fund documents have the same sort of language.

    – P. Falcone

  6. MrMoe says:

    I'm going to love hearing the guy accused of raping Bernie every other night talking to the press and saying.. "you know what really pisses me off? How nobody talks about all those years I legitimately didn't rape Bernie. I mean, seriously, why don't they ever talk about all those letters Bernie wrote me telling me how happy and glad he was that I hadn't raped him yet…. Add to that the fact that when he became a financial advisor he signed documents explicitly stating that he knew he could go to Jail if he broke the law.. I mean, he should have known he was going to get raped when he stole all that money… other than that, I have no concerns".

    -Jerome "Baby-arm" Jenkins

  7. Guest says:

    "HE WAS TRYING TO THE WAY MONEY WAS MANAGED".

    Still trying to figure out if the sentence is missing something, or I am.

  8. Ich bin ein Hakuna says:

    No one ever talks about Pol Pot basically erasing a need for eye glasses all of those years. The man was an optimistic optometrist.

  9. Wall St. Dude says:

    good article

  10. trading records says:

    Picower having been victimized by a ponz previously identified the scam early on, 70's / 80's, and blackmailed berns into going big or going down. For his silence and endorsments he had some gonzo years of returns of up to 950 % with no lockups.

  11. Im_a_Dude says:

    I'm now completely convinced Bernie ran a legit business.
    Amazing how convincing CAPS can be.

  12. Guest says:

    Back of the envelope calculation? Even those imprisoned for 150 years use mindless corporate groupspeak?

  13. ____ says:

    I feel for ya buddy.

    -Sandusk

  14. guest says:

    I want to see the insane ramblings sent circa 3am.

  15. Guest says:

    If Berns had been able to borrow from the discount window none of this would have been an issue.

  16. guest says:

    " When you look at my RIDDLE"

    ???

  17. guest says:

    "Who are you gonna trust, them or a Ponzi schemer? "

    this is like Sophie's choice.

  18. UnrelatedQuotes says:

    The world was changing, and the puppy was getting bigger. So you see, the puppy was like industry in that they were both lost in the woods. And nobody, especially the little boy, "society" knew where to find him. Except that the puppy was a dog, but the industry my friends, that was a revolution.

    – B. Madison

  19. Mitt says:

    He was a true scholar following in the footsteps of Marx & Engels. A Robinhood of redistribution of the wealth. Obama should offer him Kennedy Center honors and the Presidential Medal of Freedom to go along with his 150 years in Club Fed.

  20. Guest says:

    Having read the article, we now know that Naked Short is….Bernie!

  21. Guest says:

    They have email access in prison?

  22. Joe Bob Dave says:

    a regular fucking mother theresa this madoff

  23. TGFBV says:

    What happened to Ruthie? She cleaned up well.

  24. uninvited guest says:

    Hey wait a minute, I WAS JUST TRYING TO CHANGE THE WAY MONEY WAS MANAGED, that's MY GIG

    Willie Sutton

  25. dsc says:

    "Using the $5000 he earned from his summer lifeguarding job and a side gig installing sprinkler systems, Madoff and his wife founded Bernard L. Madoff…"

    U.S. median family income in 1960 $5600. Median family income 2006-2010 almost $52,000.

    Find me a kid who made 50k working a summer job.

    Bernie was a fraud from the start.

    • Bernie says:

      I don't think you understand. The sprinkler's are installed on Monday, the place burns down on Wednesday, on Friday we collect the proceeds via a legally disconnected entity.

      I also sell girl scout cookies.

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