This is the fourth instalment in a five-part series on the exclusive Financial Times interview From Behind Bars, Madoff spins his story – the second interview Bernie Madoff has given since he was sent to jail for life for fraud charges in 2009.
Bernie Madoff claims that when he began creating false paper records, his original four clients knew what was going on. It is impossible to know if what he says is true. None of the four individuals has ever been charged.
Three of the four are deceased. The trustee, Irving Picard, has retrieved US $7.2 billion from Picower’s estate and US $220 million from Levy. Chais’ family has not settled and claims no wrongdoing.
Shapiro, who is still alive, settled for US $625 million and denies any wrongdoing. His lawyer counters, saying, “Mr. Madoff is a liar. These latest statements are no more believable than all the other lies that Madoff told his investors and the authorities for decades.”
The article concludes with the heated question of how Madoff was able to keep the scheme running for so long.
Picard says that major banks ignored serious warning signs about the business. He has sued more than a dozen US and European banks, long-time friends, and relatives, seeking over US $100 billion in improper gains and fines.
Picard estimates that the actual losses are about US $19.6 billion. Picard has acknowledged claims from more than 2,400 victims representing about US $6.8 billion.
When the reporters switched topics and asked how he felt about ruining other people’s lives – Madoff says that he took no satisfaction in this…claiming “no malicious action.”
Madoff says that he has spent a lot of time in prison trying to figure out the “why.” Here’s his explanation: “I have spent a lot of time with a psychologist (in prison) which I had never done before in my life, in order to try to figure out how I could have done it.
“There are these mafia people who can kill people all day long, do terrible things, and then go home to their families. I used to wonder how it was that people in wars can shoot people. But the thing is that you could compartmentalize things in your life.”
Next: How Madoff used his network to attract more investors
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