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How He Madeoff with Their Money

By Julie Fink
Posted On Feb 04, 2016
How He Madeoff with Their Money

I glared at the TV screen in contempt after watching ABC’s true crime mini-series, Madoff. Kudos to Richard Dreyfuss – which is half the reason I watched – for becoming the world-famous New York City-based investor who ripped off $50 billion from his clients, friends and family.

The mini-movie has two parts. The drama packed episode last night, built up Madoff’s swindling yet charming character and how he covertly hid his secrets behind operating the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.

Bernie Richard
Side by side of Ponzi scheme artist Bernie Madoff and Richard Dreyfuss who plays the crook in ABC’s mini movie event, Madoff.

In case you missed it, a big part of why these people had no idea and were completely blind sided is because this crook would straight up, lie. Example:

  1. Madoff accepted funds from his investors and stole instead of investing it.
  2. He used fresh funds to make payments to other investors.
  3. When investors asked to see their trading options (you know, to make sure their investments were actually being traded) Madoff created a fake trade exchange that would be ‘put’ and ‘called’ by Madoff’s secretary – who was in a secret room on a different floor of the building – done in real time.
  4. When an investment firm trades, especially when they are trading the volume of securities that Madoff was trading, a DTC number is required or a “Depository Trust Company” account number. If you are not registered with the Depository Trust Company, you are not a legitimate firm or operation…
  5. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC created a replica of the actual DTC website to show investors that their money was legally being traded and approved by the DTC.

Bernie Madoff was eventually arrested in 2008 on fraud charges and is currently serving a 150-year sentence behind bars. But the losses were staggering. “He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values,” said one of his victims.

The one that probably sticks out the most, as it was portrayed in the show last night, was Madoff’s duping of Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace. Elie lost nearly all of the assets in the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

Also among those who lost their money were:

  • Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
  • Leonard Feinstein, Bed, Bath & Beyond co-founder
  • Wunderkinder Foundation, Steven Spielberg’s charity
  • Wilpon family, the New York Mets owner
  • Eric Roth, Academy Award Winning Screenplay writer for Forrest Gump

Additionally, included in the wreckage were churches, schools, law programs, business programs, country clubs, baseball players, lawyers, bankers, retirees and the list goes on.

Tonight, we get to see how it all falls down. Hard.

Can’t wait.

Also, an honorable mention to the SEC (U.S Securities & Exchange Commission), whose failure to regulate the economic operations of the country has caused the Economic Crash of 2008 and the world’s largest Ponzi scheme. As far as I’m concerned, the SEC acting as internal watchdog is more like blind poodle wearing a head cone.

Tune in tonight to ABC at 8 PM EST for the conclusion of Madoff.

Cover Photo Credit: ABC