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Bernard Madoff
May 10, 2009
by Randall Secky
His name is already notorious.  He will forever be remembered as one of the biggest crooks ever.  At a time when the country was plunging into the current recession, hatred for this man has been fueled, and rightfully so, by hard economic times.  Now he is behind bars, probably for the rest of his life, but that does little to squelch the anger that most, if not all, Americans feel toward this man.  He is Bernie Madoff.
How does one get away with running the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time for nearly two decades?  Easy, capitalize on the desire of the wealthy to be part of the exclusive club where you can make millions of dollars by investing with the right man.  Madoff was able to run his elaborate Ponzi scheme by taking money from new investors and using it to pay those that had already invested with him, thus creating a fake return on investment.  As people saw what kind of return his investors were getting on their money, it brought more investors to his door.  This cycle repeated until the recent economic meltdown.  No longer able to hide his underhanded dealings, Madoff’s scheme was discovered.
Bernie claims that he ran the whole operation alone, but he must be lying, right?  It seems impossible that one could carry out this gigantic fraud without the help of some employees, family members, or maybe the blind eye of supposed regulators.  All the way back in 1999 a man named Harry Markopolos wrote the SEC claiming that Madoff was running a huge Ponzi scheme.  There were a couple of investigations but they were minor.  One of these investigations was led by Eric Swanson.  Swanson later married Madoff’s niece Shana, who worked for her uncle as a lawyer.  While they were not dating during the time of the investigation, it all just seems a little too convenient.
Madoff has pled guilty to all 11 accounts brought against him.  His sentencing will be in June, where he should be told that the rest of his life will be spent in prison.  Although this will do little to change his Manly ways, it will hopefully serve as a warning to those considering following in his footsteps.  He may have gotten away with his stealing and lying for a long time, but now this man is getting canned.  However, the problem is not solved by throwing Bernie in jail for the rest of his life.  We are led to believe that the government is there to protect us against men like Madoff, but is that really so?  This system of crony capitalism, lobbyists with a seemingly never ending supply of bribery money, and propaganda that is spewed by the media allow people to get away with things like this.  Madoff is probably only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corrupt elites.  Corruption needs to be stamped out at all levels.  Hopefully the story of Bernie Madoff will be the first step in the direction of ridding ourselves of people like this.
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