Crimes of the Century: Bernie Madoff
Bernie Madoff built a 40-year career, 39 years of which saw him hailed as a financial genius, before finally being exposed as a con artist. Madoff claims he was the sole actor, and he may very well have been. However, there were, at the very least, a whole swath of enablers. From easily manipulated people with large checkbooks to under-performing watchdog agencies, they created a world in which Madoff could easily operate.
Widely touted as the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, Bernard "Bernie" Madoff lured wealthy investors with promises of high returns only to siphon away funds to finance his own lavish lifestyle. He would then replenish his coffers by recruiting more unsuspecting clients.
To signal his success to the world, Madoff purchased the typical trappings of the well-to- do. He became the proud owner of a luxury yacht and a French chateau. Many people wanted to be in business with such an accomplished financier. Knowing this, Madoff delivered his masterstroke. He began turning down investors, creating the illusion that only a select few were worthy of investing with Madoff.
- Crimes of the Century: Bernie Madoff