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Who was Bernie Madoff? The fraudster in the Netflix documentary: ‘MADOFF: The Monster of Wall Street?

The chief of one of the big financial scams in history is the focus of a true crime documentary on the streaming platform.

Who was Bernie Madoff? The fraudster in the Netflix documentary: ‘MADOFF: The Monster of Wall Street?
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Released on 4 January, 2023, a new Netflix documentary prises open the cold coffin of one of Wall Street’s biggest fraudsters, at least one that was caught. Bernard L. Madoff plead guilty to 11 charges related to fraud back in 2009 as his investment portfolio turned out to be built upon a pack of lies, losing investors billions of dollars.

While maybe not a household name, Madoff is certainly someone that budding investors will, or at least should, know about.

Who was Bernie Madoff?

Madoff was once one of the top traders on Wall Street. He created a trading empire that had supposedly made tens of billions of dollars of profit. however, in reality the company was based upon levels and levels of fraud. Using what is known as a ‘ponzi’ scheme, in which old investors are paid with the investments of new investors instead of dividends from the investments themselves, Madoff could put all the investments in his own private account and return it when investors asked.

In the midst of the 2008 banking crisis investors were pulling out funds from everywhere. Madoff admitted to his sons that his business was a ponzi scheme. They tipped their father off to the FBI, who arrested Bernie in December 2008. He swindled large fortunes such as Steven Spielberg and Kevin Bacon, along with other investors from all over the world, out of some $65 billion dollars.

Months after his arrest, in March 2009, he admitted to having defrauded thousands of clients over the past decades, saying he was “ashamed”. After seven months of house arrest in his $7 million Manhattan penthouse, he was finally sent to the prison for 150 years on 29 June, 2009 where he died in 2021.