U.S. prosecutors have urged a judge to send convicted financier Allen Stanford to prison for 230 years, calling him a “ruthless predator” whose $7 billion Ponzi scheme was among the most egregious frauds ever undertaken. Such a sentence, the maximum recommended under federal sentencing guidelines, would be 80 years longer than Bernard Madoff got in 2009 for his Ponzi scheme, and according to prosecutors reflects Stanford’s place as “among the greediest, most selfish, and utterly remorseless criminals.” Stanford’s lawyers are seeking a prison term of 31 to 44 months for their client, which could result in his immediate release because he has already been in custody for three years, according to the government. [Reuters]
Former Madoff Employee Pleads Guilty To *A* Madoff Securities Scam Just Not *The* Madoff Securities ScamBy Bess Levin
You know what has got to suck? When you decide to start charging stuff that doesn’t fall under “business expenses” to your corporate card and engage in a few other amateur hours scams that probably would have gone unnoticed (or, if discovered, not taken to the authorities because the boss had high tolerance for fraud) but then they are because the CEO of your firm had to go and engage in the largest Ponzi scheme on record, which shone an uncomfortable light on company personnel and all of the cheese, popcorn, and salsa of the month clubs you joined (for example). Craig Kugel knows what we’re talking about. Read more »
Convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff was “desperately disappointed” that the owners of the Mets chose to settle the fraud lawsuit brought on behalf of victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, CBS News reported Wednesday. “He wrote me last weekend that he was so looking forward to that trial,” said Diane Henriques, author of the book “Wizard of Lies” which detailed Madoff’s fraud. “He was hoping that the Mets’ defense would make the case he was making to me that they had no reason to doubt Madoff.” The trustee for Madoff’s victims, Irving Picard, was set to argue at trial that Mets owner Fred Wilpon, once a friend of Madoff and a longtime investor, was willfully blind and chose to ignore signs that Madoff was producing fraudulent returns. Henriques told CBS that in recent emails from prison Madoff blasted Picard, who was seeking more than $300 million at trial. “He calls Picard a fool, an amateur, says he doesn’t understand the market, says he never understood the market, that he’s just lost on Wall Street,” Henriques said. [NYP]
Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax may testify for the owners of New York Mets at a civil trial accusing them of turning a blind eye to Bernard Madoff’s epic fraud. … According to the Mets owners, Koufax opened a Madoff account at Wilpon’s suggestion, and has been a lifelong friend of Wilpon, with whom he played high school baseball in Brooklyn, New York. “It strains credulity to think that Mr. Wilpon would expose his oldest and closest friend to potential financial ruin” by letting him invest with Madoff, if he knew Madoff was a fraud, the Mets owners said.
Inspector General David Kotz Really Inconveniencing SEC Staffers’ Ability To Look At Porn, Not Uncover Fraud, Gripe EmployeesBy Bess Levin
In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been known more for its fuck-ups than successes. The regulator took a pass on heeding the warning signals by Bernie Madoff himself that he was running a Ponzi scheme, it chose to go after David Einhorn rather than Allied Capital when the hedge fund manager suggested all was not right at the company and right now, as we type, the regulator is presumably fucking up in ways we cannot imagine but will hear about two years hence. Separately the Commission happens to employ a not insignificant number of people who like to look at porn all day, every day, in lieu of working, which perhaps could explain some of the slip-ups, though it’s a very chicken or egg situation.
In past times, none of this (the failures and the 24/7 surfing of www.ladyboyjuice.com, www.anal-sins.com, www.fuck-my-wife.com, among others) proposed a problem. Business as usual. Then Inspector General David Kotz had to come in and start asking people, “Why didn’t you think to follow up when Madoff said the whole thing was a scam?” and “Why, on Wednesday, August 20th did you make approximately 385 attempts to access a website called www.ladyboyx.com from your work computer?” And now, it’s war. Read more »
Barbara Walters told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that she interviewed Madoff for two hours at the prison in Butner, N.C., where he’s serving a 150-year sentence. No cameras were allowed in the prison. Walters said Madoff told her he thought about suicide before being sent to prison, but since he’s been there he no longer thinks about it. Walters quoted Madoff as saying: “I feel safer here (in prison) than outside. I have people to talk to, no decisions to make. I know I will die in prison. I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now, I have no fear because I’m no longer in control.” [AP, earlier]
Maybe, you thought, Bernie Madoff wouldn’t like prison. Maybe, you thought, after a life of luxury, living in an 8X10 would cramp his style. Maybe, you thought, that he’d have trouble earning 14 cents an hour sweeping the floors, after spending several decades ‘earning’ millions making fake trades. Maybe, you thought, he wouldn’t take to an environment wherein taking your pants off means open season on your ass, after coming from a work environment where nobody blinked an eye when he regularly “dropped his trou in the office to ensure that the line of his shirt buttons was precisely vertical,” without the slightest threat of attack. Maybe, you thought, he’d be home sick. Maybe, you thought, he wouldn’t make any friends. Maybe, you thought, he wouldn’t get picked by any fraternities during rush. Well, you couldn’t be anymore wrong. Not only is Berns quickly adjusting and joining all sorts of groups, but he’s having the time of his life. Read more »