Posts Tagged ‘Ponzi scheme’

“Madoff” Name Brings Death Threats; Daughter-in-Law Seeks Change

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Bernie Madoff’s daughter-in-law wants to change her last name.  The Bernard Madoff affair is the scandal that keeps on giving.  In the latest twist, Madoff’s daughter-in-law, Stephanie, is seeking legal approval to change her surname to Morgan to protect herself and her two young children against death threats, embarrassment and humiliation.

In legal filings made in Manhattan, Stephanie Madoff says that her father-in-law, who is serving a 150-year jail term for being the brains behind a $65 billion Ponzi scheme, was “recently featured prominently in the news for defrauding numerous investors in his companies.”  She mentioned “certain death and other threats made against the Madoff family.  Though the threats were deemed unfounded, your petitioner fears for her safety and the safety of her children.”

Stephanie Madoff is married to Mark Madoff, who held a senior position in Madoff Investment Securities’ trading division and denies all knowledge of the fraud.  The younger Madoff intends to retain the family name, but has no objection to his wife’s decision.

A federal auction of Madoff’s personal belongs in November raised $1 million, which was used as restitution to pay back some of the Wall Street financier’s victims.  The items included clothing, dog bowls, golf shoes and even boogie boards.

Bernie Madoff Pays the Price

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Ponzi scheme swindler Bernie Madoff has some notorious neighbors at the federal prison in Butner, NC, that he now calls home.  According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the medium-security Butner facility houses 3,400 inmates, including Omar Abdel-Rahman, the terrorist known as the “Blind Sheik”, who plotted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  Also imprisoned in Butner are John Rigas, the former Adelphia Communications CEO; Jonathan Pollard, the former Naval Intelligence Analyst convicted of spying for Israel; and Russell Westonmadoff_bars_090630_mn, who murdered two U.S. Capital Police officers in 1998.

Since receiving his 150-year sentence on June 29, Madoff had been held in a federal lockup in Manhattan.  He pleaded guilty in March to securities fraud, money laundering and perjury charges.

“One of the most difficult things to deal with in prison is the reality that you are powerless,” according to Jonathan Richards, author of Federal Prison – A Comprehensive Survival Guide, who served time in a minimum-security prison.  “Your whole life you basically eat when you want to eat, sleep when you want to sleep, wear what you want to wear.  Then, suddenly, this daily freedom is taken away.”

Madoff will be able to write and receive letters, make limited phone calls for 25 cents a minute and possibly have access to monitored email messages.  He wears a prison khaki wardrobe; the food is just edible; and exercise consists of pacing within an outdoor cage.  Family and friends can visit once Madoff settles into prison life.  Additionally, Madoff will be put to work for low wages – menial tasks such as sweeping floors.

Got Lemons? Make Lemonade

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Amidst all the depressing economic news of late, it’s like a breath of spring when a related news article elicits a hearty laugh.

bernard-madoff-doll1The rage of this week’s 2009 Toy Fair at New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center was the Smash-Me Bernie doll, a $99.95 devil-suited, pitchfork-wielding effigy of legendary swindler Bernard Madoff.  The doll is accessorized with a gold commemorative hammer, all the easier to vent some frustration.

The doll’s maker is Phoenix-based Mini-Me ModelWorks, which creates custom-made dolls made of a tough plastic resin.  According to Graeme Warring, the company’s president, he decided to make the doll after a friend lost money in Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme.  So far, Warring has more than 1,000 orders for the Smash-Me Bernie doll.