The Makings of a Ponzi Scheme
Keller Graduate School of Management
This paper explores seven published articles that report on the story of Bernard Madoff. These articles were the results of research conducted on the internet and include well known publications and authors throughout the United States. Some articles paint a picture of the timeline that brought Bernie Madoff to his ultimate demise. From humble beginnings to Federal prisoner in North Carolina, the story is full of interesting facts and unbelievable occurrences. Other articles bring to life the sad story of other players involved in the Ponzi scheme. While others lay out in great detail the failings of our own government to
…show more content…
From that humble beginning, Madoff orchestrated the largest fraud the world has ever seen. At the time of his arrest, Madoff claimed to have approximately $17.1 billion in assets under his management. During his confession, he later said that there could possibly be upwards of $50 billion in fraudulent money involved. Unfortunately, this has proved true in the years since his fall. His victims include Steven Spielberg, owners of the New York Mets Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, thousands of wealthy retirees, clusters of Jewish charities, and banking giants such as HSBC and Fairfield Greenwich (Con of the Century, 2008). Irving Picard is the court-appointed trustee representing the victims in the Madoff scandal. To date, Picard has filed more than one thousand lawsuits seeking nearly $100 billion in damages. The largest lawsuit filed was for $1.6 billion against Sonja Kohn. Ms. Kohn was an Austrian banker and commonly referred to as Madoff’s criminal soul mate. It is believed Ms. Kohn was the mastermind behind twenty three years of conspiracy with Mr. Madoff. So far, he has been able to collect $10.6 billion through settlements and asset sales. A far cry from the total amount stolen by Mr. Madoff (NY Times, 2011).
Bernie Madoff was a master manipulator and smooth operator. With promises to some clients for returns as high as forty-six