Bernard Madoff Claims Some Banks ‘Had To Know’ About Ponzi Scheme

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In his first in-depth interview with a major media outlet since his arrest in December 2008, convicted financier Bernard Madoff reversed his previous position and asserted some banks and hedge fund were “complicit” in his massive Ponzi scheme that wiped out billions.

1010 WINS’ John Montone with an expert who says Madoff may be trying to take the blame off of himself

Madoff told the New York Times the banks and hedge funds he dealt with over years employed a “willful blindness” over his regulatory filings and other information that could’ve been used to spot the scheme. Madoff said he’s said as much to Irving Picard, the trustee currently trying to recover assets for Madoff’s victims.

“They had to know. But the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know,'” Madoff said.

In a separate e-mail reported by the Times, Madoff wrote “I am saying that the banks and funds were complicit in one form or another and my information to Picard when he was here established this.”

Do you believe Madoff? Leave a comment below.

Madoff declined to be more specific. In fact, in an e-mail obtained by the Times, Madoff wrote “I refused to help [prosecutors] with criminal evidence.”

Madoff suggested that numerous out-of-court settlements made by various banks and funds were essentially hush money “to keep me quiet” about their role in establishing the Ponzi scheme’s success – and who some of the top beneficiaries were.

One Brooklyn resident said she believes Madoff was still trying to struggling with his crimes. “I think he’s just basically trying to, sitting in his cell, trying to put it all together. And probably thinking, ‘You know? This wasn’t just my fault’,” said Billie Colombo.

Madoff is currently serving a 150-year sentence in a North Carolina federal prison. The Times interviewer described the 72-year-old former billionaire as frail and skinny.  He lives with a roommate in a 12 x12 foot cell, which is about the size of one of the closets he shared with his wife on the Upper East Side.

That limited, narrow view of the world and his strictly-controlled environment haven’t hampered Madoff’s ability to follow his own case.  He said New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz – named in one of the trustee’s many lawsuits – were not in or aware of the scheme.

“They knew nothing. They knew nothing,” he said.

Both men have been put under pressure to sell part of the team because of the lawsuits, but the team’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said they will not sell a majority stake.

“I feel really bad for our family and bad for my dad and my uncle because this is just unfounded criticism on them,” Wilpon told reporters Wednesday.

Of other clients who lost millions, “I would have loved for them to not lose anything, but that was a risk they were well aware of by investing in the market,” he reportedly wrote in an e-mail.

Ilene Kent, whose parents lost money with Madoff and were among many investors being sued by a trustee for the recovery of lost assets, said this central issue she agrees with him.

“It speaks to what’s going on Wall Street and the sentiment on Wall Street where there’s this little cabal where we all know, we’re doing this, we’re doing that, and nobody says anything,” she said.

Madoff wrote in an e-mail he didn’t attend the funeral service for his son Mark, who committed suicide in December, because it would degenerate into a “media circus” and be “cruel to my family.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. Troy says:

    When you’re making that much money. Everybody knows whats going on. Especially the banks and investors. Do you think the police don’t know which drug dealers make the most money and payoffs? Same principal, different product. I don’t think Madoff should have gotten 150 years in jail. Thats just ridiculous. 5 years would have been enough.

  2. Stan says:

    I GUESS HE HAS FINALLY ACCEPTED THE SUICIDAL DEATH OF HIS SON. NOW IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON AND TELL THE WORLD THAT HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS UP TO. THE BANKS KNOW HE WAS COOKING THE BOOKS AND JUST LOOKED THE OTHER WAY. HEY BERNIE, I’VE GOT A BRIDGE TO SELL, KNOW ANYONE INTERESTED.

  3. cho says:

    The miracle of the working of conscience now surfaces. He has nothing to lose now so why shouldnt he be believed?

  4. Jay says:

    If something sounds too good to be true then it usually is. Investors/banks/hedge funds all knew something was amiss but money talks and bs walks. And he’s waiting 2 years to say that they had to have known. Whatever Bernie. You’re the one wasting away in jail . If you wanted to throw institutions under the bus you should’ve done it long ago..

  5. argyle says:

    Why is he still alive? He can’t be gotten to in prison? Hogwash!

    He says the banks knew but no one in his family knew. Wow – that has to be the biggest B.S. statement of the year.

  6. Gregg says:

    What about those select investors that benefited with hugh profits that were paid with stolen money ? How does that work ?

  7. Gordon Gekko says:

    Greed is good.

  8. Land Sakes says:

    Wait, the banks were complicit?! Huh. Next thing you’ll tell me that Elton John is gay!

  9. CSI says:

    It’s everyones greed that got them there.

  10. jtorres says:

    The people who invested millions weren’t satisfied with what they had. They wanted more and more. And they trusted Madoff because he promised them more money than they could ever spend. They didn’t care about the specifics which is why they never asked and why he was able to sucker them into giving him everything. People who had a little and wanted to have some more to retire on were easy to dupe. The difference is — they don’t have lawyers, financial advisers and accountants on retainer. If the wealthy people would have listened to these people – who know better – , maybe they wouldn’t have been so stupid

  11. badman says:

    what’s the point of listening to Bernie Madoff? why should anyone trust anything he says? he’s only muddying the waters. the trustee should put out the word: IGNORE HIM. he’s a proven liar in the very worst way.

  12. Pl says:

    So what? Now HE’s the victim?? This excuses what he did to thousands of peoples money?? Why should we care or believe anything this lying caniver says? Also, I resent that my tax money is supprting this low life. He should be put in a real prison instead of the country club plac he is now.

    1. PI is illiterate says:

      You’re an idiot. If the banks participated in the fraud and, no doubt, profitted from it, then they should have to pay some of those who lost money. He never claimed to be the victim. Are you even literate?

  13. money says:

    my hero

  14. ARRON says:

    I’M SURE THESE INSTITUTIONS NEW BUT THEY WERE MAKING MONEY WITH HIM SO WHY ASK ? BEING THE GREEDY A$$HOLES THEY ALL ARE. 150 YEARS IN JAIL IS A JOKE…HE SHOULD OF BEEN HUNG WITH A DOG LEASH INOT HIS SON…
    THE MAN HAS “BLOOD” ON HIS HANDS IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE…TALK ABOUT A POUND OF FLESH !!!!

  15. Joe says:

    He has a window ??? Take it away from him !!!!!!!!

  16. brikkijim says:

    Be real..

  17. Rudy says:

    “I would have loved for them to not lose anything, but that was a risk they were well aware of by investing in the market.”
    There is a BIG difference between losing money due to market fluctuations and losing money due to fraud.

  18. Jose says:

    Which synagogue did he worship at?

  19. Mr. Armenia says:

    People that invest money need to investigate before they invest.

  20. george says:

    That mans a G…greed leaves ya F$@!%# in the game. All his people are guilty whether the have rocks yo admit it.

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