Thursday, March 12, 2009
Madoff goes right to jail, but fibbies might be the biggest beneficiaries of his Ponzi Scheme
Bernard Madoff did not pass Go today, as he went right to the Metropolitan detention center (no $200 collection!, a 60 sq ft cell) in Manhattan after pleading guilty to 11 counts of fraud in United States v. Bernard L. Madoff. He will not have a Parker Brother's trademarked game of Monopoly in his cell, and he may go to maximum security prison after sentencing if he gets over 25 years. He is already 70 years old. Dr. Phil had called him a “sociopath.” The Dow actually jumped about 100 points as Madoff was led away from his stolen life of luxury to a jail cell, for the rest of his life, probably.
The DOJ web page with the details for his pleadings today were posted here.
CNN Money has a Special Report “Madoff Mess” special report “I knew this day would come”, here.
Andrew Lerman has a shocking “theory” in the ("Deal Book") New York Times Blogs today arguing that the federal government is the largest “beneficiary” of the Madoff mess, here. Libertarians will love this. So will Ben Stein.
The New York Times today has a front page story by David Segal, “Financial fraud rises as target for prosecutors: response to public ire; states press mortgage cases – hints that U.S. may join in” link here. Although one must have intended to do wrong to be prosecuted (supposedly), federal and state prosecutors may be able to user “zero tolerance” notions in wire fraud laws to consider almost any email communication (held by discovery requirements) a crime. Many prosecutions might occur at the state level.
As late as June 2008, I actually got a call from a “bank” to take a job supervising people selling these mortgages, when I have no experience in this. What does one make of this? I did decline. I didn’t need sophisticated models to suspect this was a house of cards.