July 29, 2009

Bernie Madoff: Can't believe fraud lasted so long

Posted: 08:17 AM ET

Bernard Madoff, the financier convicted for Wall Street's biggest investment fraud, was surprised his $65 billion Ponzi scheme was not uncovered sooner, he said in his first interview since entering prison.

Madoff, the disgraced 71-year-old Wall Streeter who drew 150 years' prison time for the fraud, expressed remorse and talked candidly to a pair of lawyers suing him on behalf of investors, according to news reports of their jailhouse meeting on Tuesday.

San Francisco attorneys Joseph Cotchett and Nancy Fineman met with Madoff at the North Carolina prison where he was taken two weeks ago after pleading guilty, the Associated Press and ABC News reported on Tuesday. "There were several times that I met with the SEC and thought 'they got me,'" Madoff told Cotchett and Fineman, according to abc The Securities and Exchange Commission is now conducting an in-depth review of how they missed the fraud, drawing intense criticism. The results of their investigation are expected to be released in weeks.


Filed under: Bernard Madoff • Finance

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Ted   July 29th, 2009 8:50 am ET

It is impossible that Madoff pulled this scheme off without help from many, including the SEC and other government agencies. There were a lot of people paid off to keep their eyes and mouths shut!
It is imperative that a major investigation will be conducted and all who provided support, regardless of their status, will be charged and put in jail.
Madoff financially ruined many and his preferential treatment is a slap in the face to those who trusted this crook. He should be put in a maximum security prison and should work every day in the laundry or the messhall to pay for his keep. All his property must be confescated and paid to the retirement funds he damaged. Private investors were wealthy, therefore they can survive the loss.

littleton   July 29th, 2009 10:33 am ET

he did so wrong it was not right what he did to people he is an evil men

Tony   July 29th, 2009 11:28 am ET

Hard to believe a person can draw 150 years of prison time for stealing money, yet the average time served for homecide is 6 years. Of course what Mr. Maddoff did is atrocious, but the taking of a life is by far worse.

Michael C. McHugh   July 29th, 2009 1:44 pm ET

I can't believe he lasted so long, either. There's no way to explain it expect that no one was ever checking up on him, or bothering to enforce all the laws and regulations that have been on the books for 100 years or more.

ademola aderemi   July 29th, 2009 1:51 pm ET

Nigerians aren't the big fraudsters afterall!. with this revelation of the new century is it not time the blacklisting of "little" Nigeria be removed?

Cocovelvet   July 29th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Ofcourse its surprising that it took so long to find out all that mess. Anyway, Madoff was sentenced so many years in prison even more than a sentence for a homicide coz he defrauded people who never thought they could be touched in that respect and they trusted him.

Emily   July 30th, 2009 8:47 am ET

I agree with Tony: although what Bernie did is atrocious, criminals that murder people get less time in prison.

jack   July 30th, 2009 9:29 am ET

I agree w tony & Emily. Bob Dylan said "money does'nt talk, it swears".

Lisa   July 30th, 2009 10:36 am ET

It is unfathomable that he was able to keep this scam going without additional "help". I disagree with the other poster here that said the private investors were wealthy so could weather the loss so pay the recouped monies back instead to the retirement funds. The stories I've read indicate that many of those "wealthy" investors are now wiped out. Also, the beneficiaries of all those retirement funds aren't all minimum wage laborers. Many of them likely at this point have more than the private investors who were scammed.

Ron   July 30th, 2009 10:58 am ET

I think many of these posts are wrong in comparing the time given for murdering someone to his sentence being too severe. Madoff's actions have led to at least one death by suicide and has done untold damage to thousands of charitable organizations and individuals. He has as much blood on his hands as a cold blooded murderer, if not more. He's a heartless and despicable human being who should never see the light of day again.

Michael C. McHugh   July 30th, 2009 12:37 pm ET

It's not exactly true that all murderers get only 6-7 years, since some of them get executed, while thousands of others spend many years waiting around in the death house. We have plenty of peopel in this country serving life sentences under the Three Strikes laws, and lock up more people than the rest of the world combined.

But yet we cannot seem to control people like Mr. Madofff, who are the same thing as any of the other crooks in prison, except they they have nicer wardrobes.

Maiwu   July 30th, 2009 12:51 pm ET

Lady and gentlement and poeple of the world. this county is the most corruptive nation on earth, america is by far the most corruptive nation in term of dollar and number of volume. this is the reason why america is criminal capital of the world. every government agency, local or federal is corrupt. Let's look at from a very different comparatioin, in 2005 alone, the chinese has fire, prosecute, execute over 175,000 public official in china. Can you said the same to public official in the US? No. We as an america need to go back to basic and honesty need to come up. Churches are corrupt, policeman, fireman, social call law maker are corrupt, CEO, CFO in every public and private corporation are corrupt. what do america have left? More debt is all that's left for the hard working citizen. Do the math people, for every dollar of project in the US whether is local or federal. 15% to 25% person are being cheated right under those are in charge and they allow it. I work in the government agency and believe I know what I'm talking about. Go ahead and audit every project that has been completed, or still going on and see how much money has been waste by local and federal government.

Ted   August 3rd, 2009 12:43 pm ET

Maiwu, no wonder our federal agencies are louzy when they have employees with the knowledge of the english language like you. I worked with federal people over 40 years long and must say, you are right about the quality of some of those people. I hope you were not in a position where you could cause unreasonable damage to this country!!

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