The architect of the most important Ponzi scheme in historical past dies in jail


After a number of months dwelling below home arrest in his $ 7 million Manhattan penthouse condo, he was taken into custody in handcuffs for applause scattered by offended buyers within the courtroom.

“He stole from the wealthy.” He stole from the poor. He stole from the center. It had no worth, ”former investor Tom Fitzmaurice informed the sentencing choose. “He tricked his victims together with his cash in order that he and his spouse … might stay a lifetime of luxurious past beliefs.”

U.S. District Choose Denny Chin confirmed no mercy, sentencing Madoff to a most of 150 years in jail.

“Right here, the message should be despatched that Mr Madoff’s crimes had been terribly malignant and that this type of irresponsible manipulation of the system is not only a cold monetary crime that takes place solely on paper, however it’s as a substitute .. .who takes a tremendous human toll, ”Chin mentioned.

Bernard Madoff, an unlucky financier, leaves courtroom in Manhattan after a bail listening to in January 2009.Credit score:AP

The Madoffs additionally suffered a extreme monetary blow: a choose issued a $ 171 billion confiscation order in June 2009 stripping Madoff of all his private property, together with actual property, investments and $ 80 million. in inheritance which Ruth Madoff had declared to be hers. The order left him $ 2.5 million.

The scandal additionally weighed closely on the household: considered one of their youngsters, Mark, died on the age of 46 on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest in 2010. And Madoff’s brother, Peter, who helped run the enterprise, he was sentenced to 10. years in jail in 2012, regardless of claims he was at the hours of darkness over his brother’s misdeeds.

Madoff’s different son, Andrew, died of most cancers on the age of 48. Ruth Madoff remains to be alive.

Madoff was despatched to serve what amounted to a life sentence on the Butner Federal Correctional Advanced in North Carolina.

Madoff was born in 1938 in a decrease center class Jewish neighborhood in Queens. Within the monetary world, the story of his rise to prominence – how he went to Wall Avenue with Peter in 1960 with a couple of thousand {dollars} saved from lifeguard work and the set up of sprinklers – has turn into legendary.

“They had been two struggling youngsters from Queens. They labored laborious,” mentioned Thomas Morling, who labored intently with the Madoff brothers within the mid-Eighties putting in and managing computer systems which have made his firm a trusted chief. in buying and selling off the ground.

“When Peter or Bernie mentioned one thing they had been going to do, their phrase was their lie,” Morling mentioned in a 2008 interview.

Within the Eighties, Bernard L. Madoff Funding Securities occupied three flooring of a Midtown Manhattan constructing. Right here, together with his brother after which two youngsters, he ran a authentic enterprise as an middleman between consumers and sellers of inventory.

Madoff raised his profile by utilizing expertise to assist launch Nasdaq, the primary digital inventory change, and have become so revered that he suggested the Securities and Trade Fee on the system. However what the SEC by no means knew is that behind the scenes, in a separate workplace saved closed, Madoff secretly turned a phantom wealth community utilizing money from new buyers to pay returns to the previous ones.

Authorities say over time, no less than $ 13 billion has been invested with Madoff. An previous IBM pc has launched month-to-month statements exhibiting fixed double-digit yields, even throughout market recessions. On the finish of 2008, statements acknowledged that the investor’s accounts amounted to $ 65 billion.

The unhealthy fact: No securities have ever been purchased or offered. Frank DiPascali, Madoff’s chief monetary officer, mentioned in a responsible plea in 2009 that the statements detailing the exercise had been “all falsified”.

His shoppers, many Jews like Madoff and Jewish charities, mentioned they didn’t know him. Amongst them had been Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, who recalled assembly Madoff years earlier at a dinner the place they talked about Jewish historical past, schooling and philosophy – not about cash.

Like a lot of his shoppers, Madoff and his spouse had a beneficiant life-style. 1,000,000-dollar condo in Manhattan, an $ 11 million property in Palm Seashore, Florida and a $ 4 million dwelling on Lengthy Island. There was additionally one other home within the south of France, personal jets and a yacht.

All of it fell aside within the winter of 2008 with a dramatic confession in Madoff’s Twelfth-floor condo on the Higher East Facet. In a gathering together with his youngsters, he confided that his enterprise was “only a large lie.”

After the assembly, a household lawyer contacted the regulators, who alerted the federal prosecutors and the FBI. Madoff was in an ambush when two FBI brokers arrived at his door with out warning one December morning. He invited them in, then confessed after being requested “if there’s an harmless clarification,” he mentioned on a legal grievance.

Madoff replied, “There isn’t a harmless clarification.”

As he had from the start, Madoff insisted in his plea that he act alone – one thing the FBI by no means believed. Whereas brokers have uncovered information for proof of a bigger conspiracy and cultivated DiPascali as a cooperator, the scandal turned Madoff right into a pariah, evaporated the fortunes of life, worn out charity and apparently prompted some buyers to commit suicide. .


A trustee has been appointed to recuperate funds – typically by requesting hedge funds and different giant buyers that come ahead – and dividing that proceeds into victims. Madoff’s asset analysis “has uncovered a maze of interrelated worldwide funds, establishments and entities of virtually unparalleled complexity and breadth,” the trustee, Irving Picard, mentioned in a 2009 report.

The report mentioned the trustee has situated property and “pursuits” corporations in 11 areas: Britain, Eire, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Gibraltar, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas. Greater than 15,400 claims towards Madoff have been filed.

Should you or somebody you realize wants help name Lifeline at 131 114.


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