For the latest issue of the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin explores the relationship between Bernie Madoff and Fred Wilpon, chairman and chief executive of the Mets and a victim of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which resulted in Wilpon (and the baseball team) getting, how to put this? Fucked. As his new project while in the joint is getting people to remember his legacy and talk about all the great stuff he did prior to one blip on an otherwise tremendous career, Berns picked up where he left off with New York reporter Steve Fishman, to whom he griped in February:
“Does anybody want to hear that I had a successful business and did all these wonderful things for the industry? And got all these awards? And so did my family? I did all of this during the legitimate years. No. You don’t read any of that.”
Here’s what he had to say this time around: Read more »
This afternoon, the US Marshals Service will hold yet another auction of Bernie Madoff’s stuff, with proceeds going to the victims of the Ponzi scheme. Today’s lots are comprised of the liquor left behind by the Ponz Master. As previously mentioned, one lucky bidder will take home Bernie’s prized collection of low-grade mini-bar booze (including a selection of 2-ounce bottles of Smirnoff vodka, Bombay gin and Grand Marnier liqueur). Also up for grabs? A decanter containing a mystery liquid, which starts at $500. Read more »
In the market for some tiny bottles of low-grade vodka touched by a Ponzi scheme? Today’s your lucky day. Read more »
“In 2002 I had a contact with the SEC, who were concerned that I was front-running,” he recalls, referring to the practice of using insider information to inform trades. “I started laughing to myself – I knew I wasn’t because I wasn’t doing the trades.” [FT]
One criticism of the Securities and Exchange Commission is that after having done not such a “great” job as a regulator over the past decade or so, it’s been going after small time, easily nailed crooks in order to justify its existence. Five, ten, fifty million dollar Ponzi schemes and the like that sound nice for the SEC to say have been taken down but have basically no impact on the global financial market whether they live or die. Along the way the Commission has started to get its confidence back. And then some. Read more »
Hint: he calls Libya home and recently vowed to “fight to the death” anyone questioning his leadership skills. Read more »
Need a little Monday afternoon depression? Here’s some, courtesy of the Madoff family, re: this weekend’s news. Read more »
As was expected, the Justice Department announced just now that is has charged 500 people in its “largest-ever crackdown on scam artists.” According to officials, the losses cost victims millions in some cases with the total tab coming to $8.3 billion “These are staggering, staggering numbers,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. But you know what hurts more than the money? The lost of trust. Never again will these people be able to believe a money manager when he promises huge ass returns or when he says he has no idea why that tramp was sending him nude text messages. Thus, the name of the 3.5 month long investigation was appropriately named: Operation Broken Trust. Read more »
It involves handcuffs. Read more »
Say what you will about Canada but their Ponzi scheming set is willing to tread where its more southern counterparts have not. Yeah, we have big number schemes but no one really thinks outside the box. Like pigeon-farming scams. Have we ever had one of those? No, we just feed the damn things rather than think about exploiting them for cash.
An Ontario man accused in an alleged $1-million pigeon breeding scheme has been charged with fraud and violations of bankruptcy laws. Arlan Galbraith, the 62-year-old owner of Pigeon King International, was arrested Wednesday after surrendering to police in Kitchener. Galbraith, from Cochrane, Ont., is charged with one count of fraud over $5,000 and four counts under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Police allege Galbraith defrauded people in Canada and the United States out of a total of $1 million between 2004 and 2008. It’s estimated about 1,000 people invested a total of $20 million in the purchase of pigeons while allegedly being promised guaranteed financial returns.
You want to hear more, right? Some sort of business plan at least. Read more »