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Ear to the Ground

Madoff: ‘Deeply Sorry,’ ‘Ashamed,’ Guilty

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Posted on Mar 12, 2009
Madoff pleads guilty
AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano

Bernard Madoff arrives at court on Thursday, March 12, 2009, in Manhattan.

The country’s most notorious scam artist, Bernard Madoff, pleaded guilty on Thursday to fleecing thousands of investors out of as much as $65 billion at the New York District Courthouse, where several of his defrauded clients turned up to hear him speak.

International Herald Tribune:

“I am actually grateful for this opportunity to publicly comment about my crimes, for which I am deeply sorry and ashamed,” Madoff — a dapper figure, clad in a charcoal-gray suit, with swept-back, wavy gray hair — said in his first public comments about his crimes since the $65 billion scandal broke in early December.

In a long, detailed statement delivered in a soft but steady voice, Madoff implicated no one but himself in the vast Ponzi scheme. He said he started it as a short-term way to weather the early-1990s recession, and was unable to extricate himself as the years went by.

“I realized that my arrest and this day would inevitably come,” Madoff said in a courtroom crammed with many of the investors he cheated out of billions of dollars.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin promptly revoked the $10 million bail that had allowed Madoff to remain free since he confessed to his sons three months ago. In ordering him jailed, the judge said Madoff had the means to flee and an incentive to do so because of his age.

The courtroom erupted in applause after the judge announced Madoff would go directly to jail — the drab, windowless high-rise Metropolitan Correctional Center next door to the courthouse to await sentencing. But that did not slake his victims’ anger.

DeWitt Baker, an investor who attended the hearing and said he lost more than $1 million with Madoff, said: “I’d stone him to death.”

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, March 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

One more thing——there were several charitable institutions on the list that lost their investment with Madoff.  My question is what are charitable institution doing with multi-million dollar portfolios——isn’t there enough needy people to give it to?  That’s really a rhetorical question.  I posted that same question in the local paper and boy did I get responses——must have it a nerve!  The pat answer is that they invest to have funds for leaner times such as now!  I suspect there’s another answer in that they have to raise money through such investments to pay the salaries of the administrators.  And if you think the administrators of national and regional charities work for chicken feed I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale!!!  Just check out the salaries of some of the higher level administrators——its an eye-opener——not to mention a nice retirement package and golden parachute in some cases.  I guess they took a lesson from the HRCC——one for you two for me!

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By Xntrk, March 13, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, Madoff is so ‘sorry and ashamed’ that his attorneys are appealing the revocation of his bail. Poor guy, the article showed the photo of the cell he’s in. It sure doesn’t look like the ones at the King County jail in Seattle. The couple of hours I spent there as a scoff-law [failure to pay a traffic ticket in a timely fashion] showed me nothing but bare mattresses, exposed toilets and lots and lots of black hookers. Fortunately, I still smoked at that time, and had enough to share before my husband bailed me out. I didn’t even stay long enough to sample lunch, but I’ve dined out on the story a few times since.

Oh, to buy my ticket out, we paid the old fine, plus penalties, plus the new fine for making a ‘California stop’ on my way to work. I told them I’d pay the first ticket when they caught me, and 2 and a half years later, they did.

What do they say about the ‘Mills of the gods’? Too bad they seem to be non-functioning when it comes to the Wall Street theives!

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ApprxAm's avatar

By ApprxAm, March 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment


We got the best damn legal system money, which isn’t lost, can but.  I guess they ran out of poor people to screw over and decided to create there own.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, March 13, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

There’s a lot more to this Madoff story than what’s been in the news.  First the initial figure was $50 billion, now its up to $65 billion, but those figures are based on the inflated balance sheets of Madoff’s firm.  It all likelihood it won’t be over $15 billion in the final tally, but its still a kingly sum.  The investors with Madoff aren’t the run of the mill clients with ordinary incomes——they were select clients.  The 20/20 piece on the people defrauded showed basically the Palm Beach crowd——no one looked like they missed a meal——and even wealthy people when they take a loss squeal like a stuck pig.  However, when things are sorted out the least that will be reimbursed is around $500,000 and will be commensurate with the loss incurred by each individual.  And should the trustee find the money, the individuals so involved may very well be made whole.  Also, where are the people who made money with Madoff——there are probably hundreds and it would be nice to see them in an interview.  My guess is they are making themselves small as they say!!!

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By Sepharad, March 13, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

I don’t feel terribly sorry for most of the people Madoff fleeced, but one of the foundations—like the Prouser Foundation at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, for which he was “fund manager” (!!!), had a history of ground-breaking biomedical research until Madoff’s house of cards collapsed, leaving it bankrupt and now permanently out of business. That will cost peoples’ lives, and saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it.

My husband (not in finance) said the basis for much of our financial system IS pyramid and Ponzi schemes, and that he’s only surprised that anyone, including investors, were surprised.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, March 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

“But where is the money? Madoff, Greenspan, Greenberg, Rubin, Bernanke, Goldman, Sachs, Lehman, etc, etc—all swindlers, and all but Madoff still at it.”

What a club! The only one missing is Shylock!

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By artie, March 13, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Madoff is sorry and ashamed he got caught. But where is the money? Madoff, Greenspan, Greenberg, Rubin, Bernanke, Goldman, Sachs, Lehman, etc, etc—all swindlers, and all but Madoff still at it.

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By Parallax, March 13, 2009 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, what can you do…remember, this is a capitalist country. This… America…..a jungle by any other name.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, March 13, 2009 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

The SEC and FBI know exactly where the money is but because of the “guilty plea,” cannot legally touch the proceeds of the greatest ponzi scheme in the last 100 years.”

Why kind of cockamamy justice system do you have in the USA? I’m not a lawyer, but even if the above claim is true, since when are US government agencies such as the SEC and FBI all that concerned with only doing what’s “legal?” There’s got to be a lot more to the story if Madoff & family get to keep ONE CENT of that stolen money.

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By photoshock, March 13, 2009 at 2:55 am Link to this comment

Bernard Madoff, in pleading guilty, did not do the right thing.  In pleading guilty, he made sure that his wife and children would inherit billions of dollars and he would not have to state where the assets were that he infamously stole from people to whom he was a trustworthy and honest individual.
This is nothing more than a cover-up of the greatest proportion.  The SEC and FBI know exactly where the money is but because of the “guilty plea,” cannot legally touch the proceeds of the greatest ponzi scheme in the last 100 years.
For there to be true justice in this matter, Bernie Boy, would have to turn over all of his assets to repay as much as possible of the money that he stole to the investors that trusted him. Until then, there is not a single iota of justice in this case to be found.

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By Folktruther, March 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

The US power system is obvously covering up the Madoof story. All of the media printed that he was “sorry and ashamed” and did not report that it was obious that his operation could not have been without a witting organization.  For over 15 years it was printing buy and sell orders that never happened, 46 cardboard boxes full.

He was protected by wall street and the SEC during this time, while financial analysts were reporting data that he was running a scam.  Apparently at least some of the money was invested in drugs, according to one analyst.  there are also allegations of ties to Israel.  And of course the question is, how much of the money does Madoff still have.

Now of these questions are raised in the media.  Just that he is “sorry and ashamed.”  and probably an mulli-billionaire who is paying people off.  One of his last acitons was to give his staff their yearly bonuses two months early.

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By coloradokarl, March 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

All the victims get $500,000. of our money?  $500,000.? I no longer feel so sorry for these greedy investors. I live paycheck to paycheck and today could receive $1100.00 per month SSI.  Fuck You Greedy Investors !!!

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, March 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Beyond me why a lying con man of this calibre would hang around waiting to be flung in jail for the rest of his life. Can’t possibly be conscience. I’m sure if I were him I’d have been long gone to some far off desert island. About the only “good” thing he’s done is to plead guilty and get quickly out of our hair forever.

I’d like to feel sorry for those he fleeced, and I do… a little. But considering that, as far as I know, he fleeced mostly fat cats (or to be fair, those with more money than they needed) whose only ambition was to get as much as they could for as little risk and effort as possible on their part, I can only smirk smugly and thank my lucky stars I never had enough to bother investing. I’m sure I would have overcome my morality angst and gambled to become rich just like all the rest.

The only mystery to me as to why our financial deck of cards has crashed and burned is HOW COME IT TOOK SO LONG? Only greedy dreamers believed they could go on forever continuing to grab huge profits while essentially doing nothing to earn it. But never fear… the “something for nothing” gene is alive and well and just awaiting the next opportunity to express itself.

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