Bernard (Bernie) Lawrence Madoff in many ways exemplifies the American Dream. Starting with only $500 in 1960 he grew his personal investment business into $900 million by 2008, all through legitimate investments and securities trading, completely separate and unrelated to his vilified arbitrage and investment advisory business reported by the press. Although primarily recognized as the individual who masterminded the largest securities fraud in the history of the world, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office report, all or almost all of the recognized and principle funds invested with Madoff was returned to investors.
Unknown to many people, Madoff had an illustrious business career leading the world’s largest and most respected organizations serving in many senior executive roles and corporate advisory positions including Chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange and member of the board of directors of the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD). Madoff was internationally recognized as an innovative financial genius as evidenced by his appointments to regulatory and industry positions including the Chairman of the National Securities Clearing Corporation, Chairman of the Depository Trust Company (DTC), Vice Chairman of the Securities Industry Association (SIA), and member of the SEC advisory committee, with most appointments lasting for up to ten years.
Madoff was highly philanthropic, donating time and millions of dollars to multiple organizations. He served on the boards of the N.Y.C. Ballet, Hofstra University, and Yeshiva University, where he and his wife Ruth, managed the Madoff Family Foundation, a charity organization recently valued at $19 million. Currently, Bernie is incarcerated serving a 150-year sentence as a result of pleading guilty to 12 Federal counts of fraud and wrongdoing related to his crimes.