Joe Berlinger, the Netflix true-crime king, is back, but this time he’s investigating Bernie Madoff, the financier behind the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff’s admission that his company was “all just one big lie” in 2008 brought the $64 billion Ponzi scheme crashing down, ruining lives all over the world.
A four-part Netflix documentary follows his life before and after he went to prison, “through an innovative visual approach and an entertaining, edge-of-your-seat financial thriller tone.” Learn the shocking truth about Bernie Madoff and the events depicted in Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street.
Who Was Bernie Madoff And What Happened To Him?
Bernie Madoff, who was born in Brooklyn in 1938, established the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960 by trading penny stocks and later convincing friends and family to invest with him.
Two years later, his father-in-law had to bail him out, but he and his brother Peter eventually found success in electronic trading. In time, their company would grow to become one of the five Wall Street stalwarts responsible for handling 50 percent of the order volume at the New York Stock Exchange.
During the ’80s, Madoff was raking in an estimated $100 million ($83 million) annually. Bernie began his fraud during this decade by using the split-strike conversion investing strategy, which involved paying investors with money from new clients rather than actual profits.
According to an interview he gave to New York magazine writer Steve Fishman in 2011, he claimed that he “had more than enough money to support any of my lifestyle and the lifestyle of my family,” despite the fact that the legitimate arms of his business generated enormous profits. To put it another way: “I didn’t have to do this to get that.”
He claimed his desire for more money was irrational, and that what really drove him was the ego boost he got from having major banks interested in investing with him.
To explain the crime and how “a cadre of co-conspirators and a financial system rife with institutions were willing to turn a blind eye to Madoff’s suspicious behavior,” the four-part series presents the testimony of whistleblowers, employees, investigators, and victims, as well as previously unseen video depositions of Madoff himself.
When Did Bernie Madoff Pass Away?
After pleading guilty in 2009, Madoff received a sentence of 150 years in prison; he died there at the age of 82 in 2021. His attorney at the time, Brandon Sample, said that Bernie “lived with guilt and remorse for his crimes” until the day he died. Bernie was a father and a husband, despite the fact that his crimes have come to define him. He had a gentle demeanor and a keen mind. Even so, Bernie was far from flawless. But, of course, no man is.
However, he left behind a trail of destruction, with at least two investors taking their own lives as a result of their financial losses. Bernie’s son Mark also died by suicide on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. Andrew, his second son, passed away from cancer in 2014.
What Did Bernie Madoff Do?
As the global financial crisis deepened in December 2008, Madoff’s business began to suffer as investors demanded their money back. As a result, he told his sons that the business was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme.”
His sons tipped off the FBI, and agents were dispatched to determine if there was “an innocent explanation.” When asked about this, Madoff reportedly told investigators that there was “no innocent explanation” and that he “paid investors with money that wasn’t there,” as reported by Reuters.
He disclosed that the company had been bankrupt for years, racking up losses of more than $50 billion and paying off investors with a principal from other investors. At his arraignment on 11 December 2008, Madoff pled guilty to 11 federal felonies, including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan, making false filings with the SEC, and making false statements.
In his plea allocution, Madoff acknowledged that the fraud dates back to the early 1990s and that he never actually put any of the money the company was given into the securities. As an alternative, “those funds were deposited in a bank account at Chase Manhattan Bank,” he explained. To “pay the requested funds,” I transferred money from my client’s or another client’s account at Chase Manhattan Bank.
After Judge Denny Chin described the fraud as “extraordinarily evil,” “unprecedented,” and “staggering,” he handed down Madoff’s maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison in June 2009. In a statement after his sentencing, Madoff said: “I live in a tormented state now, knowing of all the pain and suffering that I have created. Some of my victims have pointed out that I have disgraced my children and grandchildren.”
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Does Anyone Know Where Bernie Madoff Is?
The estimated date of Madoff’s release from the Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium in North Carolina is January 31st, 2137. As of February 2020, Madoff claimed he had only 18 months to live due to chronic kidney failure, and he filed for compassionate release. They turned down his request.
On April 14, 2021, while serving his time in prison, Madoff passed away from natural causes. His wife, Ruth Madoff, was left with only $1–2 million after the government and the firm’s trustee, Irving Picard, took everything else from her. Mark, the couple’s son, committed suicide on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest in 2010, and Andrew, the couple’s other son, died of lymphoma two years later in 2014.
Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street Trailer