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Bernie Madoff Biography (Bernard Lawrence Madoff) : Investor and Fraudster
Famous for : Masterminding one of the largest investment frauds ever committed by one person. Madoff's Ponzi scheme fraud claimed an estimated $50 billion.
Madoff details : Born - 29th of April, 1938 New York City, New York, USA / Lives United States of America

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Bernie Madoff Bio

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Bernard Madoff was once the head of one of the largest and seemingly most successful investment firm on Wall Street, Bernard Madoff was charged in December, 2008 with investment fraud and exposed as leading one of the largest Ponzi schemes of all time. As the head of the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, Madoff reportedly lost over $50 billion in investor wealth in his scheme.

Bernard L. Madoff was born on April 29, 1938 in Queens, a borough of New York City. He grew up in a Jewish household and attended the Far Rockaway High School followed by Hofstra University where he studied political science. He graduated from Hofstra in 1960 and began his investment firm in that same year. Madoff also married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Madoff, with whom he had two sons, Andrew and Mark.

Madoff started his investment company with $5000 of his own money and used emerging technologies to quote bid and ask prices on the New York Stock Exchange. As a "market maker", Madoff's technologies set him apart from the competition and eventually led to advances in developing the NASDAQ.

Bernard Madoff's firm grew and he began branching out into other investment areas. After hiring a number of family members and employees, Madoff began heavy trading on the Stock Market. His original plan was based on trading blue-chip stocks, large-cap stocks, and futures, but none of these were as profitable as he had hoped. According to the investigations, Madoff may have started his Ponzi scheme as early as the 1970s in order to pay investors and keep his firm running.

Although employees were suspicious about Madoff's ability to handle billions of dollars in investments with a relatively small staff, few suspected Madoff or the company of committing fraud. The market maker division of the company was still strong and traded up to 5% of the total trades on the NYSE and by 2000 Madoff Securities held around $300 million in assets and had offices in both New York and London. But it was steady returns of 10% or more over the course of decades that eventually tipped investigators onto Madoff's schemes. Even with the market crashes in November of 2008, Bernie Madoff was still touting investment growth of more than 5% over previous years.

The Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Madoff's firms numerous times over the years and rarely found anything of suspicion prior to December of 2008. Questionable accounting practices, hidden investment auditing and reluctance to supply online access to accounts were among the reasons why different firms suggested that Madoff be investigated. But the company continued to grow and lure in exclusive investors year after year. With billions in investment and international customers, all of Madoff's investors believed in his ability to manipulate the market for profit.

But after the stock crash in November 2008, many investors wanted to cash out their funds. In fact, individuals and institutions wanted to withdraw over $7 billion from the firm, a sum that was impossible to pay. Madoff tried to salvage his own future and family by suggesting that the firm pay out bonuses early instead of waiting for the arrival of 2009. Bernie Madoff's sons, Andrew and Mark Madoff who had been working with the firm for decades, questioned his motivations behind paying bonuses if they couldn't afford to pay investors. Madoff then opened up to his sons, exposing the entire Ponzi scheme in the asset management arm of the firm. The brothers immediately contacted the authorities and Madoff was arrested the next day, December 11, 2008. Madoff was charged with securities fraud but the FBI found no evidence of fraud involving his family members.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Madoff lost approximately $50 billion of investor funds by simply paying investors with "money that wasn't there."

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Bernard Madoff Quotes Famous Bernie Madoff Quotes

The nature of any human being, certainly anyone on Wall Street, is 'the better deal you give the customer, the worse deal it is for you'.
Bernard Madoff - Wall Street -
Customers - Greed - Deals - Human Being

The person that is buying a share of stock is convinced he knows something that the other person who's selling it to him does not know. There's no zero sum game in Wall Street.
Bernard Madoff - Investing - Wall Street - Stocks - Stock Market - Buying - Selling

Whenever I go down to Washington and meet with the SEC and complain to them that the industry is either over regulated or the burdens are too great they all start to roll their eyes, just like all of our children do when we talk about the good old days.
Bernard Madoff - Regulation - Wall Street - Washington - Complain - Lobby

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