It’s utterly shocking and appalling when you look at the list of convicted former stock brokers currently incarcerated in the United States for stock fraud, and you realize how long and extended that list of disgusting, greedy criminals is.
However, as revolting and dishonorable as all of these convicts are, not one of them compares to the evil that is Bernard Lawrence Madoff.
Bernard “Bernie” Madoff, thankfully, is currently Bureau of Prisons Register #61727-054 at the Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium near Butner, North Carolina. He is serving his sentence of 150 years of imprisonment with a projected release date of November 14th in the year 2139. At age 72, it seems unlikely his life will extend farther than his sentence.
Perhaps tragically, the concern that Bernie Madoff was committed securities and stock fraud was not a new one upon his arrest. In 1999, a whistleblower by the name of Harry Markopolos reported to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the profit being made by Madoff and his companies were mathematically, and more importantly, legally impossible. (Markopolos has since published a tell-all book entitled No One Would Listen about his ten-year period of attempting to alert government officials about Madoff’s corruption.)
It wasn’t until December of 2008, however, that the light began to pour in on Madoff’s illegal activities. As the stock market continued to struggle, a series of investors attempted to withdraw approximately $ 7 billion from Madoff’s firm… a financial amount the King of Stock Fraud wasn’t able to produce.
In an attempt to keep his stock fraud scheme afloat, Madoff began contacting virtually every rich guy in the book to raise funds. Amongst those people was Wall Street financier Kenneth Langone (who didn’t give him any money, even after Madoff sent a 19-page pitch book to claiming he was raising money for a new investment), 95-year-old philanthropist Carl J. Shapiro (who ended up giving Madoff $ 250 million), and president of Rosenman Family LLC, Martin Rosenman (who sent Madoff $ 10 million under a week before his arrest).
It was on December 10th that Madoff allegedly went to his sons and partners in business, Mark and Andrew Madoff, and told them he planned to pay out nearly $ 200 million dollars in bonuses to employees approximately two months ahead of scheduled. The brothers, apparently unaware of the stock fraud running rampant in their fathers company, question Madoff as to how the firm would pay such a high number of bonuses AHEAD of schedule when they were struggling to pay clients presently. It was at this moment that Madoff admitted he was running the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of the financial world, and his sons later turned him over to the proper authorities.
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