Bernard “Bernie” Madoff is another famous convicted Ponzi scam artist. On March 12, 2009 Madoff plead guilty to 11 charges related to securities fraud and his own personal Ponzi scam. Madoff’s investment fraud hit thousands of clients, from the rich and famous to small investors, costing them as much as $64 billion. Even this fraud lawyer, highly experienced in broker litigation, finds this to be a fantastical number. That is $64,000,000,000.00! It was many people’s life savings and 401Ks.
According to Madoff’s court testimony, it all started during the recession in the early ‘90’s. He had promised clients certain returns. He said he just didn’t want to disappoint them and thought he could make up the difference later. He couldn’t make up the difference.
In court, Madoff gave a detailed picture on how he ran his Ponzi scam. To create the impression of trading, he moved money between accounts. He sent false trade confirmations to his clients and lied to the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission). As Madoff eloquently stated during his securities fraud trial, “Clients would have no way of knowing the statements were false,”  He made swindling $64 billion sound so easy. Contrary to Madoff’s testimony, the prosecutor claimed the Ponzi scam began in the ‘80. The question of how he was able to run a Ponzi scam of such proportions for so many years without being caught went unanswered. The trial also did not clear up whether Madoff had help with his Ponzi scam, or whether he managed the complex logistical nightmare on his own. He did state that, while the firm Bernard L. Madoff Securities was the vehicle for his crimes, other securities businesses his firm engaged in were legitimate, profitable, and in all respects successful, being run by his brother and his two sons.
At the age of 72, Bernie Madoff is currently serving a 150 year prison sentence in federal prison for charges related to investment fraud from his Ponzi scam. Next time, we’ll get into some signs you can look for to help protect yourself from a Ponzi scam. As always, if you are considering making an investment, or have already made an investment and feel you need the advice of a skilled fraud lawyer, do not wait! Call the best Tampa lawyer with the experience necessary to give you the help you need. Call S. David Anton of Anton Legal Group!
S. David Anton is a member of Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) the preeminent national wide organization of attorneys who represent brokerage firm customers in disputes with the industry. He is also a Certified Securities Arbitrator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), formerly NASD and resolves disputes between investors and stockbrokers, investment advisers and their firms. He has been practicing law since 1985 and representing brokerage firm customers since 1999. He is a Tampa, Florida based attorney who can handle securities arbitration anywhere in the U.S.