The operation of the largest fraud in US history was fairly simple. Bernie Madoff deposited all his investors’ money into his Chase bank account and paid them off as necessary. At its height his account balance was over $5 billion. The scheme collapsed when he ran out of money.

Bernie Madoff

“Madoff” redirects here. For other people with the same surname, see Madoff (surname). For the miniseries about Bernard Madoff, see Madoff (miniseries).

Bernard Lawrence Madoff (/ˈmeɪdɔːf/; born April 29, 1938) is an American former market maker, investment advisor, financier and convicted fraudster who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme. He is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, the confessed operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, and the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecutors estimated the fraud to be worth $64.8 billion based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff’s 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008.

Madoff fou… Continue Reading (26 minute read)

8 thoughts on “The operation of the largest fraud in US history was fairly simple. Bernie Madoff deposited all his investors’ money into his Chase bank account and paid them off as necessary. At its height his account balance was over $5 billion. The scheme collapsed when he ran out of money.”

  1. skyburnsred

    Jeez, imagine logging into your bank app and seeing 5,000,000,000 as your account balance

  2. Logical_racoons

    I’m flabbergasted it took 9 years for fraud to uncover fully, when the alarm was first rang in 1999.

  3. drak0bsidian

    I was a camp counselor the summer after all this went down. Before the kids arrived the directors called us all in for a special meeting and said that a few of the kids, a couple girls and a boy, could not know who each other’s parents were, because one of the girls was Madoff’s granddaughter and the other two kids were from families who were totally wrecked from his scheme. It never came up, but at the time it was a huge deal. I recall the directors being more stressed than normal on visiting day. Looking back the directors were probably over-reacting since Madoff’s grandkids had a different last name than him, but at the time it was really intense.

  4. n00bcak3

    I thought I read somewhere that many of the investors were able to recoup some fractional percentage of their investments with him. If he money simply ran out on his Chase bank account, how was it possible that the investors got anything back?

  5. Robocop613

    > Others contended it was inconceivable that the growing volume of Madoff’s accounts could be competently and legitimately serviced by his documented accounting/auditing firm, a three-person firm with only one active accountant [77]

    Soooo the SEC really has no fangs if they couldn’t even sus this out..

  6. txia89

    My question is how could the people working at Chase not notice anything wrong with an account with $5B in it with suspicious transactions going in and out all the time.

  7. hardyflashier

    The film ‘The Other Guys’ does a great animation explaining all this in the end credit sequence

  8. seth3511

    I dont understand why he didn’t just run it legitimately and put the money into investments. He would have been rich either way.

Leave a Comment