Bernie Madoff: Disgraced financier dies in prison

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Financier Bernard Madoff (C), who has been charged with allegedly running a $50 billion "Ponzi scheme" leaves federal court following a hearing in New York, New York, USA, on 10 March 2009 (reissued 14 April 2021). Madoff has died in prison aged 82, the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed to several media

Bernie Madoff, a Wall Street financier disgraced after he admitted to one of the biggest frauds in US financial history, has died in prison at age 82.

His death was announced by the Bureau of Prisons.

Mr Madoff had been serving a 150-year sentence after he pleaded guilty in 2009 to running a Ponzi scheme, which paid investors with money from new clients rather than actual profits.

It collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis.

“Bernie, up until his death, lived with guilt and remorse for his crimes,” his lawyer Brandon Sample said in a statement.

“Although the crimes Bernie was convicted of have come to define who he was – he was also a father and a husband. He was soft spoken and an intellectual. Bernie was by no means perfect. But no man is.”

Exceptional returns

Mr Madoff,the son of European immigrants who grew up in New York,set up his eponymous firm Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities in 1960.

The company became one of the largest market-makers – matching buyers and sellers of stocks – and Mr Madoff served as chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The firm was investigated eight times by the US Securities and Exchange Commission because it made exceptional returns.

But it was the global recession which effectively prompted Mr Madoff’s demise as investors, hit by the downturn, tried to withdraw about $7bn from his funds and he could not find the money to cover it.

Bernard Madoff fraud victims hold a news conference following the sentencing hearing for Madofff, who was convicted for running a multibillion-dollar ponzi scheme, at Federal District Court in Manhattan on June 29, 2009 in New York City.
image captionVictims of Mr Madoff’s fraud included celebrities and everyday people

He confessed the problem to his sons, who went to the authorities.

The list of those scammed included actor Kevin Bacon, Hall of Fame baseball player Sandy Koufax and film director Steven Spielberg’s charitable foundation, Wunderkinder.

UK banks were also among those who lost money, with HSBC Holdings saying it had exposure of around $1bn. Other corporate victims were Royal Bank of Scotland and Man Group and Japan’s Nomura Holdings.

But it was not just the elite and large firms who were victims of the fraud.

‘We thought he was God’

School teachers, farmers, mechanics and many others also lost money.

“We thought he was God. We trusted everything in his hands,” Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, whose foundation lost $15.2 million, said in 2009.

In court, Mr Madoff said that when he started the scheme in the 1990s, he hoped it would only be for a limited time.

“I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for what I have done,” he said in March 2009, when he pleaded guilty.

“I realised that my arrest and this day would inevitably come.”

The scam involved an estimated $65bn, a figure that included gains Mr Madoff’s clients believed they had made due to fake account statements.

Of the more than $17bn in cash losses, more than $14bn has been recovered.

Last year, Mr Madoff requested early release from prison citing health problems, including kidney disease. In an interview with The Washington Post he said he had “made a terrible mistake.”

“I’m terminally ill,” he said. “There’s no cure for my type of disease. So, you know, I’ve served. I’ve served 11 years already, and, quite frankly, I’ve suffered through it.”

Judge Denny Chin denied Mr Madoff’s request, noting many victims were still suffering due to their financial losses.

“I also believe that Mr. Madoff was never truly remorseful, and that he was only sorry that his life as he knew it was collapsing around him,” he wrote.

At least two investors with Mr Madoff committed suicide after their losses. His son Mark also killed himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. His other son, Andrew, died of cancer in 2014.

Mr Madoff is survived by his wife, Ruth Madoff, who maintained she was unaware of the scheme and was never charged. Prosecutors let her keep $2.5m from the the $825m fortune the couple once possessed.


JP Morgan Behind Madoff Ponzi Scheme? Pays $2 Billion to Avoid Investigation and Prosecution

By Washington’s Blog

Global Research, January 06, 2014

Washington’s Blog

Region: USA

Theme: Global EconomyLaw and Justice

Bernie Madoff has said all along that JP Morgan knew about – and knowingly profited from – his Ponzi schemes.

So JP Morgan has agreed to pay the government $2 billion to avoid investigation and prosecution.

While this may sound like a lot of money, it is spare sofa change for a big bank like JP Morgan.

It’s not just the Madoff scheme.

As shown below, the big banks – including JP Morgan – are  manipulating virtually every market – both in the financial sector and the real economy – and breaking virtually every law on the books.

Here are just some of the recent improprieties by big banks:

The executives of the big banks invariably pretend that the hanky-panky was only committed by a couple of low-level rogue employees. But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management.

Indeed, one of the world’s top fraud experts – professor of law and economics, and former senior S&L regulator Bill Black – says that most financial fraud is “control fraud”, where the people who own the banks are the ones who implement systemic fraud. See thisthis and this.

The failure to go after Wall Street executives for criminal fraud is the core cause of our sick economy.

And experts say that all of the government’s excuses for failure to prosecute the individuals at the big Wall Street banks who committed fraud are totally bogus.

The big picture is simple:

Published by Peace Maker

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