For twenty or so years, depending on when you believe The Legitimate Years stopped and The Illegitimate Years started, Bernie Madoff ran a massive Ponzi scheme, ripping off thousands of clients of billions of dollars. But screwing over people and leaving many of them with nothing was not all Madoff accomplished in that time. He also taught his employees the finer art of fraud and, according to prosecutors, the five students currently on trial learned a thing or two under The Professor. Read more »
At which point he decided he’d stick around for another 20 or so years. Read more »
He and his buddy Ezra Merkin used to share a laugh about it all the time.
Some new details came from a phone call Mr. Merkin recorded during the fall of 2005, between himself and Mr. Madoff. After a different Ponzi scheme came to light involving the Bayou Group, a hedge fund firm in Stamford, Conn., Mr. Merkin told Mr. Madoff that this would further stoke suspicions about his business.
“You know, I always tell people, as soon as there is a scam in the hedge fund industry, someone is going to call about Bernie. It’s guaranteed,” Mr. Merkin told Mr. Madoff, according to the lawsuit.
Perhaps luckily for the continuation of their friendship, Ezra didn’t get into the details about what he was telling those people. Read more »
It is his Austrian banker/long-lost twin sister, who would never have made a secret deal, even with family.
Ms. Kohn appeared as a witness at a London trial for a civil lawsuit brought by Grant Thornton, the liquidators of Mr. Madoff’s U.K. business, Madoff Securities International Ltd., to reclaim about £33m ($49 million) on behalf of investors. Ms. Kohn denied any wrongdoing; liquidators don’t allege that she knew of Mr. Madoff’s fraud….
“There has not been a private agreement with me and Mr. Madoff,” Ms. Kohn testified. She added that it should have been “obvious” to the directors of the London business that her payments were made for the introductions she made to Mr. Madoff, given her reputation in the press as a highly connected banker.
She said: “None of [the press reports] spoke of me like an analyst or a research guy.”
Irving Picard’s legal campaign to turn Bernie Madoff’s fraudulent claim to have managed $65 billion from one of the great financial fictions into an actual $65 billion took a bit of a hit today. Read more »
…and is discouraged to find out that, according to Bernie Madoff and other felons interviewed, it’s essentially impossible to make money without committing fraud. Read more »
Bernard Madoff once had billions of dollars, but now he makes $40 a month doing menial prison labor. “I used to work as a clerk in the commissary, and now they have me taking care of the telephone and the computer systems,” said Madoff, speaking by phone from a federal prison in North Carolina. His prison phone account didn’t have any money in it, so he had to call CNNMoney collect. As far as the computers and phones go, Madoff said he has to “make sure they’re working and they’re kept clean,” but he emphasizes that this requires no technical skill whatsoever. [CNNMoney]