NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a new bombshell interview from prison, Bernard Madoff opened up about his crimes – and the fallout for his family.
WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane with the story from Manhattan
The exclusive confessions appear in New York Magazine, hitting newsstands Monday. CBS 2’s Dave Carlin has some of the just-released excerpts.
Disgraced Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff told New York Magazine that banks and hedge funds should have done a better job of watching him as his $65 billion fraud played out.
“Look these banks and these funds had to know there were problems,” Madoff said. “There was complicity, in my view.”
In the New York Magazine feature, called The Madoff Tapes, he maintains that his family did not know about his massive fraud.
Madoff’s wife, Ruth, moved to Florida. Friends say she dyed her hair and lives a humble life, and has not spoken to her husband since the suicide of their son, 46-year-old Mark, in November.
“Let me tell you, I cried for well over two weeks,” Madoff said of his son’s death. “I cried and cried.”
Madoff also said that he understood his wife’s reasons for not wanting to speak with him.
“She’s angry at me. She tries not to be, but it’s hard not to be,” he said. “I mean, you know, I destroyed our family.”
Madoff knows that if banks are found to be complicit, lawsuits against them could result in their paying out the money he still owes his victims.
One of those victims is George Neirenberg, who lost his life savings in Madoff’s scheme.
“If they had some sort of awareness and had reported it, a lot of people would have been spared undue hardship in their lives,” Neirenberg said.
Madoff said all of his investors knew there were risks involved.
“These people probably would’ve lost all that money in the market,” he said. “I’m not trying to justify what I did for one minute – I’m not.”
“He wants other people around him to share the guilt and culpability,” Columbia Law School professor John Coffee said. “He’s a man who has to rationalize the suicide of his child.”
As for his life behind bars, the 72-year-old said he is in therapy as he serves his 150-year sentence.
In the tapes, he recalls tearfully asking his prison therapist if she considers him a sociopath, and she said no – because he shows some remorse.