Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Good News! Bernie Madoff Is Dead!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Some people make you happy with their arrival, while others bring joy with their departure. So it is with Bernard L. Madoff.

Scumbag Ponzi schemer, thief, liar, chronically habitual pathological prevaricator, con artist, good-for-nothing felonious criminal Bernard Madoff has died aged 82 this morning in Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, a facility in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, according to an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the matter and who was not authorized to speak publicly. The BOP acknowledged Madoff’s death later in the day.

The Associated Press and CNBC reported that Madoff died of apparently “natural causes” while serving a 150 year sentence handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin who sentenced Madoff to the maximum penalty in March 2009 after Madoff plead guilty to all charges against him. In July 2019, financial news network CNBC reported that Madoff had filed application the Department of Justice for commutation of his sentence from then-President Trump, which was summarily denied.

Bernard L. Madoff, USDOJ booking picture 2008

When U.S. District Court Judge Danny Chin sentenced Madoff, he said in part that, “Here, the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil and that this kind of irresponsible manipulation of the system is not merely a bloodless financial crime that takes place just on paper, but it is instead … one that takes a staggering human toll.”

At his sentencing, Madoff appeared to attempt to minimize the catastrophic damage he’d inflicted which he had caused, and said that his actions were a “problem,” “an error of judgment” and “a tragic mistake.”

Following his arrest, Bernie Madoff was initially jailed briefly at the infamous Metropolitan Correction Center in Lower Manhattan after pleading guilty to 11 Federal felony criminal charges that carried a combined maximum prison sentence of 150 years, and was sentenced June 16, 2009 for masterminding the largest investment fraud in United States history. At the end of November 2008, his fraudulent firm, Bernard L. Madoff Securities, reported to his victim-clients that their so-called investments with him were valued at a total of $65 billion. However, he held but a very nominal fraction of that amount.

For several decades, Madoff was a considered a Wall $treet golden-haired guru, and even enjoyed a chairmanship of the NASDAQ stock market which he helped establish.

As a self-styled “investment advisor,” Madoff cast himself as a self-made man with a veritable sixth-sense for financial markets that defied their inevitable fluctuations.

The types of people whom he defrauded and bankrupted were as broad-reaching as his scam, and ranged from Florida retirees to celebrities including renown film director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, and included the ruination of various charities and foundations.

Among Madoff’s client-victims were Jewish charities, and Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who recollected meeting him years earlier at a dinner event in which he and Madoff discussed history, education and Jewish philosophy – everything but money.

During a panel discussion in 2009 about Madoff’s criminal enterprise, Elie Wiesel said that Bernie Madoff “made a very good impression,” and admitted that he also had fallen prey to, and believed “a myth that he created around him that everything was so special, so unique, that it had to be secret.”

Tom Fitzmaurice, another victim of Madoff’s massive theft, at Bernie’s sentencing told Judge Chin that, “He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values. He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife … could live a life of luxury beyond belief.”

Bernie’s massive fraud and theft enabled him, and his wife, to enjoy lavish lifestyles, which included numerous opulent homes – a luxury penthouse apartment in Manhattan, a sumptuous $4 million house on the tip of Long Island, a palatial $11 million estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and an exotic residence on the French Rivera along the Mediterranean coast – including a yacht moored there, along with several private jets.

A news item from 2009 shortly after the time of his arrest, and guilty plea stated that,

“The targeted assets, many of which are held by Madoff’s wife, Ruth, include: A Manhattan condominium on East 64th Street where Madoff was under house arrest for three months prior to his guilty plea, valued at $7 million; homes in Montauk, New York, Palm Beach, Florida and Cap d’Antibes, France, as well as “all insured and readily salable personal property” contained in the homes; a yacht named Bull, docked in France; three other boats; four automobiles, including two Mercedes, one BMW and one Volkswagen; a Steinway piano valued at $39,000; a silverware set valued at $65,000; $17 million deposited at Wachovia Bank; $45 million in securities held at COHMAD Securities; and Madoff’s interest in COHMAD Securities.”

Bernie’s downfall was curious – in the winter of 2008 he confessed to his sons that his so-called business was “all just one big lie.” He also confessed to CFO Frank DiPascali who turned state’s witness and testified against Madoff that Bernie had one day called him into his office after “He’d been staring out the window the all day. He turned to me and he said, crying, ‘I’m at the end of my rope. … Don’t you get it? The whole goddamn thing is a fraud.’”

Following Bernie’s bizarrely startling revelation, a family attorney contacted Federal regulators which in turn, contacted other authorities, including the FBI and Federal prosecutors.

Following his confession to his family and to CFO DiPascali, in December 2008, 2 FBI agents showed up at Bernie’s residence one morning unannounced. Bernie, who was dressed in a bathrobe, greeted them, and invited them in. The criminal complaint later made against him stated that, when they asked him “if there’s an innocent explanation,” he confessed saying “There is no innocent explanation.”

When he later said that he acted alone in his criminal enterprise, the FBI never believed him. Altogether, about 12 former employees of Madoff and Associates were Federally charged, and 5 went on trial in 2013.

When Madoff was arrested, falsified account statements of the Ponzi scheme made by him deliberately misled his victim-clients into believing that the value of their “investment holdings” with him were in excess of $60 billion. It is unquestionably the largest financial fraud in the history of Wall $treet. He was so widely hated by so many that at his trial, that he wore a bulletproof vest to court.

As part of his sentence against Madoff, Judge Chin ordered forfeiture stripping him of all his personal property, including all investments, real estate, and other assets which totaled $80 million. Madoff’s wife Ruth claimed that the items subject to confiscation were hers, but Judge Chin didn’t believe her story, and she was left with $2.5 million.

She also cast herself as a victim of Bernie’s fraud, claiming that Bernie had deceived her ever since high school where they were sweethearts, and said that “I am embarrassed and ashamed. Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years.” And later, in May 2019, Ruth agreed to pay agreed to pay $594,000 and to surrender her remaining assets upon her death as part of a settlement.

In the years since Madoff’s arrest, conviction, and incarceration, a Federal court-appointed trustee has recovered over $13 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion that deceived investors had put into Madoff’s hands. Sometimes, that has involved suing hedge funds, and other substantially large investors who enjoyed significant gains. Altogether, over 15,400 claims were filed against Bernie Madoff.

But Bernie Madoff’s massive theft also had other effects upon him, aside from the judge’s order. One of his two sons, Mark, committed suicide in 2010 on the 2nd anniversary of Bernie’s arrest, while Andrew died aged 48 of cancer, and Bernie’s brother Peter, who had for years helped run the fraudulent “business” was sentenced to 10 years in prison despite his claims that he knew nothing about Bernie’s fraud. Ruth is now aged 79, and has lived in virtual exile since.

Bernie wasn’t always a dishonest scheming con man.

Born in 1938 in a lower-middle-class Jewish neighborhood in the borough of Queens, Bernie worked with his brother Peter selling and installing fire sprinklers, in addition to being lifeguards at a swimming pool. With the few thousand dollars they’d saved, they left for Wall $treet to make their fortunes. And in the process, became legendary.

In a 2008 interview, Thomas Morling, who for many years worked closely with Bernie and Peter Madoff in the mid-1980s creating computer networks which ran their theft scheme, and made them trusted leaders in off-floor trading, said that, “They were two struggling kids from Queens. They worked hard. When Peter or Bernie said something that they were going to do, their word was their bond.”

In the go-go-go greed-induced financial atmosphere of the 1980’s, Bernie’s fraudulent business had a significant air of respectability, and his fraudulent firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, occupied 3 entire floors of a midtown Manhattan high-rise where he and Peter alleged to operate a legitimate business as “middlemen” between the buyers and sellers of stock.

Madoff’s respectability was significantly increased when he used his expertise to help launch NASDAQ, the first electronic stock exchange, and in that process became so respected that he advised the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the system. Despite his involvement with the SEC, the Federal regulatory agency never discovered Bernie’s massive fraud – a behind-the-scenes separate, secured office that spun out a massively deceitful and fraudulent web which invented wealth from thin air by churning fresh money from new victims to pay old victims – a Ponzi scheme.

Behind those closed and locked doors, an old IBM computer was used to crank out monthly statements which falsely showed his victims a steady stream of double-digit returns… even during market downturns. And as of late 2008 when Madoff was arrested, those statements claimed investor accounts totaled $65 billion, but the reality was much more bleak, and corrosive, because they were totally fabricated, and utterly fraudulent. Frank DiPascali, who was Chief Financial Officer of the Madoff criminal enterprise, said at Bernie’s 2009 guilty plea that the entire operation and the claims of trades were “all fake.” Not even one share of stock was ever traded, or sold during Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme.

Jerry Reisman, an attorney who represented about three dozen of Madoff’s victims, said that he’d spoken to several of them after Madoff’s death and that no one was saddened by the news of his death. “Some of them are saying they’re enjoying this day. No one sees this as a great loss. No one is going to mourn Bernie Madoff. They are happy they have survived him.”


2 Responses to “Good News! Bernie Madoff Is Dead!”

  1. jvlivs said

    “Now Madoff made of with all the money, and his clients are up a skunk weed!” -Jimmy Buffett, A Lot To Drink About

    WOW! I try not so speak ill of the dead, but I’ll make an exception in this case. As I read this some Bible passages came to mind from both testaments:

    “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance, with increase: this also is vanity.” -Ecclesiastes 5:10, ASV

    “…thieves, greedy persons, …extortioners will NOT inherit God’s kingdom.” -1 Corinthians 6:10, NWT

    “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6:9, KJV

    “The one defrauding the poor to increase his wealth and the one giving gifts to the rich will end up in poverty.” -Proverbs 22:16, NWT

    I could go on and on with this, but greed was and is the undoing of this talented businessman. He unfortunately used his gifts for evil and not good. It’s sad that instead of doing the right thing which was to protect his clients, he pilfered, violated, raped, screwed, robbed the “rich, poor, and in between”. You’re a Bible reader like myself, and I can only assume that you’re familiar with such characters like Satan (the cause of all of earth’s woes), Adam and Eve, Cain, Achan, Gehazi, Judas Iscariot, even Israelite Kings like Manasseh, David, Solomon (the first two repented of their deeds, but suffered MASSIVE consequences for it), and so on and so forth.

    It also seems like we see modern-day examples like Madoff, and yet no one pays attention until it bites ’em in the booty! And obviously this isn’t the first time this has happened.

    Again, not to speak ill of the dead, but I felt no compassion for Bernard Madoff that he died in prison. I hate to say “he had it comin'”, but he had it comin’! Thankfully some of his clients had their funds recovered, and even then, it was a percentage of it, if not all! Rich or poor, these were peoples lives who damaged.

    Uncalled for

    I’m done for now, my good man. May peace be onto you always.


    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      The notion of not speaking evil of the dead is, I think, rooted in the existence of a question doubting some level, or degree, of veracity of some event associated with the decedent. It questions whether, or not, a thing occurred as the accusation of the deceased is made.

      For example, it would be preposterously absurd, I think, to, in some way, ascribe good, or even benevolent, character traits to people like Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Leon Trotsky, et al. And so, no one argues about speaking evil of them. But when it comes to others, such as Bernie Madoff, or others, such a remark is made. I think that, at some level, there must be an acknowledgement that it is possible for someone to – at least on occasion – exhibit some niceties, or commonplace social graces. But when examined on the whole, it would be an error to claim, or state, that such an individual (as named above) would, or could, be considered “benevolent.”

      You see, part of Bernie’s evil was that his whole character was dependent upon a façade, a masquerade, a deceit, a trick… and an exceeding malevolent one, at that. And so, for that reason also, I would demur.

      Now, upon a matter of theology to which you made reference, it seems to me that an all-forgiving god would be… well, all-forgiving. And therefore, such evil individuals would all “go to heaven.” From my perspective in the catbird seat, it seems inconsistent to hold that there is such an “all-forgiving” god, who somehow is not all-forgiving at the final hour, when it is perhaps most needed, and therefore NOT all-forgiving. That is a fundamental inconsistency with that line of thinking. And it is for that reason, and others, that I have walked away from “faith” in a higher power, and particularly the claims made by Jesus of Nazareth. He never claimed to be the Christ (the anointed one), you know. And, He always referred to himself as “the son of man,” never the son of God.

      And, it is entirely possible that Mary’s impregnation could have occurred by parthenogenesis, but that is most exceedingly rare in the animal kingdom, and even more so in humans (which are also animals).

      Upon further examination, and study, many of the things which we have taken for granted in Christendom – and, I count myself as a former believer, and remain a student of the Scriptures (though I do not “believe” most of the absurdly preposterous claims and events that are alleged to have occurred) – I have changed my opinion, and hold a position which simply states that “I do not know,” but that the possibility may exist, for the existence of such a higher power. Frankly, it is more like an agnostic position, I think, because if there is such a god, that being would be so unlike us that it is incomprehensible for us to understand.



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