Bernard Madoff, the man behind a brazen $65-billion Ponzi scheme, criticized bankers and big investors for “willful blindness” regarding his fraud and bashed the media for its treatment of his family.
Madoff made the comments during email exchanges and an exclusive two-hour interview with the New York Times.
Below are some highlights from the NYTimes article, drawn from materials from the interview and emails and from other sources gathered/cited by NYTimes:
Bankers and big investors
-Bernard Madoff said bankers and hedge fund professionals “had to know” about his fraud. But their attitude was “if you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know,” he said.
-At one point, he wrote “banks and funds were complicit in one form or another.”
-He claimed in an email that “many long-term clients made more in legitimate profits from him in the years before the fraud than they could have elsewhere.”
-He was “startled” to learn some of the emails and messages circulated among bankers, before his fraud was discovered, that raised doubts about the legitimacy of his fund. “I’m reading more now about how suspicious they were than I ever realized at the time,” he said, with a faint smile, wrote NYTimes.
The media and his family
-Bernard Madoff “lashed out” at what he calls the “disgraceful” coverage of the suicide of his son Mark Madoff.
- He said had he attended his son’s funeral, it would turn it into a “media circus.”
Life in Prison
- Bernard Madoff’s access to the outside world is limited and monitored. His calls, emails, and letters are screened.
- His prison cell is about 12 feet square and has a big window.