Madoff’s Multi-Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Over in the sidebar and at the the bottom of this page, you’ll see the quote:

Sometimes you don’t have to know who They are.
All you need to know is who You are.

I wrote that and I stand by it. But still, every now and then it IS nice to know who THEY are…

The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fal...Image via Wikipedia

The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall

It’s a scary time for many of us. It seems that the world – the financial part of it, anyway – is falling down around us. Every day it seems, more bad news hits us in the face. Whether it’s unemployment, foreclosure rates, or whatever, there seems to be no end in sight.

We know, in our gut, that this couldn’t have happened by accident. We know, whether we want to admit it or not, that the whole thing will probably blow up to become one of the worst economic events in human history.

We wish, most of us, that we knew exactly who to blame. Even if we can’t exact our vengeance on that person (or those people) we’d still like to know who to curse.

According to a report from Bloomberg, one of the bad guys has just given himself up to authorities:

[Bernard] Madoff ran his investment advisory business from a separate floor of his firm’s office, keeping financial statements “under lock and key,” prosecutors said. Early in December, he told one employee that clients wanted to redeem about $7 billion and that he was struggling to free up the funds, the government said. After he told another staff member Dec. 9 that he wanted to pay annual bonuses before the year’s end, two months early, a pair of senior employees asked to speak with him, prosecutors said.

‘Great Deal of Stress’

They had noticed he had been suffering from a “great deal of stress” and wanted to know what was happening, the U.S. said. When one of them challenged his explanations, Madoff invited them to his Manhattan apartment, saying he “wasn’t sure he would be able to hold it together” if they continued talking at the office, the government said.

While meeting the pair at his home yesterday, Madoff conceded that he was “finished,” that his advisory business is “all just one big lie” and “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme,” the government said. The business had been insolvent for years with losses of about $50 billion, he told the employees, according to the criminal and SEC complaints.

Madoff said he had about $200 million to $300 million left and planned to distribute money to select employees, family and friends before surrendering to authorities in about a week, the government said.

Confessed to FBI

Madoff allegedly confessed to FBI agent Theodore Cacioppi on Dec. 11, saying there was “no innocent explanation,” the SEC said in its complaint. Madoff said it was his fault and he had “paid investors with money that wasn’t there.” He also said he was “insolvent” and he expected to go to jail, it said.

And if you want to read the SEC Press Release:

SEC Charges Bernard L. Madoff for Multi-Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2008 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Bernard L. Madoff and his investment firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, with securities fraud for a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that he perpetrated on advisory clients of his firm. The SEC is seeking emergency relief for investors, including an asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for the firm.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, alleges that Madoff yesterday informed two senior employees that his investment advisory business was a fraud. Madoff told these employees that he was “finished,” that he had “absolutely nothing,” that “it’s all just one big lie,” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme.” The senior employees understood him to be saying that he had for years been paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from other, different investors. Madoff admitted in this conversation that the firm was insolvent and had been for years, and that he estimated the losses from this fraud were at least $50 billion.

“We are alleging a massive fraud — both in terms of scope and duration,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “We are moving quickly and decisively to stop the fraud and protect remaining assets for investors, and we are working closely with the criminal authorities to hold Mr. Madoff accountable.”

Andrew M. Calamari, Associate Director of Enforcement in the SEC’s New York Regional Office, added, “Our complaint alleges a stunning fraud that appears to be of epic proportions.”

According to regulatory filings, the Madoff firm had more than $17 billion in assets under management as of the beginning of 2008. It appears that virtually all assets of the advisory business are missing.

Madoff founded the firm in 1960 and has been a prominent member of the securities industry throughout his career. Madoff served as vice chairman of the NASD, a member of its board of governors, and chairman of its New York region. He was also a member of NASDAQ Stock Market’s board of governors and its executive committee and served as chairman of its trading committee.

The complaint charges the defendants with violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. In addition to emergency and interim relief, the SEC seeks a final judgment permanently enjoining the defendants from future violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and ordering them to pay financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest.

The SEC’s investigation is continuing.

The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

So there, now you can curse his name. Just remember:

He is NOT the ONLY one who is guilty. May there be more press releases from the SEC in the coming days…

I am Jon, and Madoff is a jackoff.

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Thanks to Paul at InfectiousGreed. Paul posted an updated piece HERE.