Madoff’s Confession

Every business major should be required to memorize this.

From the Associated Press: Text of Bernard Madoff’s court statement. Here’s the first paragraph:

Your Honor, for many years up until my arrest on December 11, 2008, I operated a Ponzi scheme through the investment advisory side of my business, Bernard L. Madoff Securities LLC, which was located here in Manhattan, New York at 885 Third Avenue. I am actually grateful for this first opportunity to publicly speak about my crimes, for which I am so deeply sorry and ashamed. As I engaged in my fraud, I knew what I was doing was wrong, indeed criminal. When I began the Ponzi scheme I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme. However, this proved difficult, and ultimately impossible, and as the years went by I realized that my arrest and this day would inevitably come. I am painfully aware that I have deeply hurt many, many people, including the members of my family, my closest friends, business associates and the thousands of clients who gave me their money. I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for what I have done. I am here today to accept responsibility for my crimes by pleading guilty and, with this plea allocution, explain the means by which I carried out and concealed my fraud…

(I first blogged about Madoff back in December: Madoff: Biggest Financial Scam in History)

4 comments so far

  1. Charles H. Green on

    I’m not sure these are yet the words that every business major should memorize. I suspect those words may be yet to come.He says, ‘When I began the Ponzi scheme I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme.’When I began…shortly.. That sentence would refer to what, year 1 of a 20-year scam? And what about the other 19 years?He’s had months to craft the most sympathy-evoking language possible; and remember, this man is an extremely talented con artist, a man schooled in the ways of faking trustworthiness.I don’t think he’s said anything yet worth memorizing. Such language, when we do see it, will either come from a doctor diagnosing him as a sociopath, or–if from Madoff himself–will reflect a far greater insight into what he did with those 19 years. Thanks for the great posts you put up here, including this topic.

  2. Chris MacDonald on

    Charles:Thanks for your comment.I may have gotten a bit carried away. But I think the first paragraph at least hints (truthfully? who knows!) at how a terrible crime could have been committed by a once-respected man.I think the eventual psychiatric diagnosis you refer to is likely to be <>less<> memorable. If a shrink labels him “Borderline Personality Disorder with Delusions of Grandeur” we really won’t know much more about the man, or about what made his crimes possible.Chris.

  3. Hugh Lee on

    I can perfectly understand how a person can commit a very small ‘sin’, ‘crime’ ‘scam’ etc. and do so with every intention either not to repeat it or to use it as a means to an end and intend no ultimate harm to anyone. I can also see easily how such action could slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, gather momentum till it becomes unstoppable. It is every member of gambler’s anonymous’ personal story. If the initial investments had been very successful – had he invested in Facebook for instance – then he may well have been able to return money and continue ‘legitimately’ after six months, one year or more. It is easy to say he shouldn’t have done it. Whether we can be quite so certain that, given his history, skill and personality, we would not have done the same is an assertion I for one cannot make.Hugh LeeLeeds, UK

  4. Brooklyn, New York on

    Well, the alternative to this story is to try to figure out what are the more general responsibilities of the system in general and of the investors in particular. I think investors should not be let off the hook.
    Here is my take:

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