White-Collar Crime

Madoff: 'It Wasn't About the Money'

In a rare interview with a business publication, record-breaking Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff says “It wasn’t about the money.”

What was it about? Successful in his securities business in the 1980s, he contends, he was drawn to fraud in the early 1990s by “ego” and a need to retain his hard-won place in the “club” by continuing to provide his upscale clients with a steady stream of seeming profits that beat the market, year after year, reports the Financial Times in a magazine-length article.

Madoff insists that most of those associated with him had no inkling of the huge swindle he was orchestrating, nor were government regulators any wiser. At one point in 2002, he recalls, the Securities and Exchange Commission was looking into suspicions that he was using inside information in executing trades. However, he says, he chuckled to himself over the probe because, as he knew, his business at that point wasn’t doing any trades, despite the high volume of securities it was supposedly purchasing.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Unsealed Madoff Trustee Suit Details $6.4B Claim Against JPMorgan Chase”

ABAJournal.com: “In Prison Interview, Madoff Accuses Banks and Hedge Funds of ‘Willful Blindness’”

ABAJournal.com: “Report: Madoff Told NY Times He Met with Bankruptcy Trustee When He Didn’t”

Financial Times (opinion): “Grubby lessons from a life of serial fraud”

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