Introduction Operated through a complex, cryptic structure Bernie Madoff, CEO of Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities (BMIS), perpetuated the most embellished Ponzi scheme the world has ever seen. The basis of the securities fraud that took place approximately between 1991 – 2008 was influenced by Bernie Madoff’s reliance upon an unqualified staff, outdated software, organizational seclusion, a personal halo effect, and weaknesses in the regulating body. Madoff had the confidence of the public, yet to pull off such an elaborate scheme, he relied on a startling number of family members, vital accomplices working on the illegal trading floor such as Frank D. Pascali, IT staff members, and a separate BMIS branch of international employees …show more content…
But the halo effect wasn’t Bernie Madoff’s only hook for reeling wealthy people in, he also utilized his Jewish heritage to take advantage of investor biases according to personal preferences of his particular ethnic background. Those affected in Minneapolis are also cited saying that his aura did play a monumental factor in their consideration to invest with him. The illegal construction of the Bernie Madoff securities pyramid scheme grew to preposterous proportions from legal, auditing, and regulatory weaknesses of the Securities Exchange Commission, the designated regulatory body of the U.S. financial markets. The required expertise, authority, and relevant penalties needed to deter management from committing ethical breaches lacked substance in the case study of BMIS (Crews 11). Even after the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals that occurred in the early 2000s, the SEC unexplainably revoked provisions created to help avoid fraud. The provision the SEC revoked specifically mandated firms structured like Madoff’s to be audited by accounting firms registered and audited by the Board. By revoking the provision, BMIS was allowed to continue its Ponzi scheme for another half a decade with the aid of utilizing an unregistered, small accounting firm called Freihling & Horowitz (“Madoff’s Jenga”
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Introduction: Bernie Madoff was a well-respected financier, his company Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC was very well known and even helped launch the Nasdaq stock market. Madoffs company was well trusted and he even had celebrity cliental such a Steven Spielberg, Kevin bacon, and Kyra Sedgwick. Madoff came from a low income family however, he was able to start his company from getting a $50,000 loan from his in-laws and he using money that he had saved from side jobs such as lifeguarding and installing sprinkler systems to found his company. The successfulness of Madoff’s company came from the company’s ability to adapt to change and us modern day computer technology. As his business grew he stated employing family members to help “His younger brother, Peter, joined him in the business in 1970 and became the firm 's chief compliance officer. Later, Madoff 's sons, Andrew and Mark, also worked for the company as traders. Peter 's daughter, Shana, became a rules-compliance lawyer for the trading division of her uncle 's firm, and his son, Roger, joined the firm before his death in 2006”(Bernard Madoff Biography 2016) Unfortunately on December 11th 2008 Bernie Madoff became well known for a whole new reason. He had been accused of performing an elaborate Ponzi scheme and he had been reported to the federal authorities by his own sons. A year later he admitted to the investigators that he had lost $50 billion dollars of his investors’ money and pled guilty to 11
This “rags to riches” story began long before BMIS was ever founded; furthermore, there is an underlying story that indicates the fraudulent behavior was witnessed early in Bernie Madoff’s life. When Bernie Madoff’s was young, his parents were running an illegal brokerage firm out of their home in an effort to raise money to pay back taxes owed on the property (Biography, 2016). These impressions of his parent’s early failure and deviant behavior may have influenced the compulsive behavior and determination to accumulate wealth Bernie Madoff displayed. Traumatic events experienced as a child or young adult oftentimes influences future behavior without understanding where the inspiration came from.
Bernie Madoff began his career as an investment broker in 1960, where he legally bought and sold over-the-counter stocks not listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). From the 1960’s through the 1990’s, Madoff’s success and business grew substantially, mainly from a closed circle of known investors and friends through word of mouth. In the 1990’s Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities traded up to 10 percent of the NASDAQ on any given day. With the success of the securities business, Madoff started an illegal money-management business, promising his investors consistent returns from 10-12 percent, unheard of returns at the time, which should have tipped off most investors that something was amiss.
What is right or wrong? People base their values of right and wrong on what they have learned from their experiences (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2018). What one person sees as wrong, may be a normal for another. Most people are taught to work hard, save money, and invest for a future retirement. However, when it comes to money, some people lose all principles and standards of behavior. There were several ethical issues in the Madoff case. They include: stealing, cheating, lying, misrepresentation, and deliberate deception. Madoff used the Ponzi scheme or the money pyramid to make his money. In the Ponzi scheme, money was taken from new investors and given to existing customers as earning without being invested. Was this right or wrong? Throughout this case study ethical concerns can be seen on both sides, the investors and Madoff’s.
Convictions of the Bernie Madoff conspirators prove the Ponzi scheme could not have been the work of one person. Furthermore, the conspirators each played a critical role in facilitating the Ponzi scheme and concealing it from regulators, and auditors. For instance, Annette Bongiorno, was employed for Madoff for approximately 40 years as his secretary (Lappin, 2014). Consequently, Bongiorno was charged with manufacturing the false statements sent to clients that indicated they were worth a lot more than they actually were. Moreover, Bongiorno transferred $50 million of client’s funds into her own private account (Lappin, 2014).
BMIS engaged in three different operations, namely investment advisor services, market making services and proprietary trading. Bernard Madoff conducts certain investment advisory business for clients that are separate from the BMIS proprietary trading and market making activities. Bernard Madoff has been conducting a Ponzi-scheme through the investment advisor services of BMIS, and through their scheme have defrauded investors out of monies estimated to exceed $50 billion. When a senior employee was told by Madoff that there had been a request from clients for approximately $7 billion in redemption and he was struggling to obtain the liquidity necessary to meet those obligations. Madoff also told another employee on December 9, 2008 that he wanted to pay bonuses to employees of the firm. This was earlier than bonuses were paid, and also with another employee admitting that his investment advisory business was a fraud that it’s all just one big lie and that it was basically giant Ponzi scheme. Bernard Madoff also informed employees that he planned to surrender to the authorities but before he does that he had approximately $200-300 million left and planned to use that money to make payments to certain selected family and friends. Madoff would make people believe that BMIS was a legitimate enterprise engaged in the lawful brokerage and sale of investment securities, when BMI
On Dec. 11, 2008, Bernard Lawrence Madoff confessed that his vaunted investment business was all "one big lie," a Ponzi scheme colossal in volume and scope that cost investors $65 billion. Overnight, Madoff became the new poster child for Wall Street gall, greed and
On December 11, 2008, a Wall Street investor named Bernie Madoff was arrested for confessing to one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history. Before that day, many people had never heard of Bernie Madoff or perhaps may not have even realized their life savings were invested through his firm. To the casual observer, the arrest was just another dirty banker being taken to court for his actions; but in reality, the arrest was devastating to financial institutions, government regulators, and the personal wealth of thousands of businesses, charities, and individuals. In all, Madoff defrauded investors of $20 billion. Having been a well respected leader and trusted advisor on Wall Street for years, friends, family, and customers never questioned his tactics even though the red flags had always been there. In the end, many people blamed the government for lack of regulation on Wall Street, but the truth is that everyone involved from the investment firms to the personal investors chose profit over due diligence.
To combat this assumption it turns out large amounts of money of the value of $300million was invested in Bernard Madoff accounts in the form of pension funds. Some officials knew that the unscathed performance of Madoff securities were too good to be true as their prices consistently climbed up in spite the financial crisis. However, still they pawned its own shareholders’ funds with the hopes of jumping on the same band wagon as Madoff and reaping further profits. Another angle at probing the case was that the CEO, directors as well as executives were only looking out for themselves. Evidently they had direct benefits in the form of handsome compensation packages for retaining high profile clients such as Madoff and Wise which
Bernard Madoff had full control of the organizational leadership of Bernard Madoff Investments Securities LLC. Madoff used charisma to convince his friends, members of elite groups, and his employees to believe in him. He tricked his clients into believing that they were investing in something special. He would often turn potential investors down, which helped Bernard in targeting the investors with more money to invest. Bernard Madoff created a system which promised high returns in the short term and was nothing but the Ponzi scheme. The system’s idea relied on funds from the new investors to pay misrepresented and extremely high returns to existing investors. He was doing this for years; convincing wealthy individuals and charities to
Madoff Securities Inc., had limited resources and fragmented oversight. The fragmented oversight led to the lack of coordination in preventing fraud at the company. The company has fragmented regulatory system that allowed unscrupulous people to engage in misconduct. For instance, the regulatory oversight was unable to examine the broker dealer operations of Madoff Investment securities. The lack of resources also affects the ability of the company to deal with financial and credit crisis (Hornuf & Haas, 2014). Most importantly, the company lacked regular examination of audit procedures in analyzing the fraudulent actions. The regulatory oversights have various gaps in regulation that allowed investment and broker dealers to form unclear
The SEC in Madoff’s case failed to understand the supposed complex strategy for investment. The SEC in the this case should have not finished inspecting Madoff Securities, until the strategy made sense to SEC officials. The SEC should have done a peer review in their case.
This paper introduces Bernard L. Madoff a fraudster who orchestrated a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. The paper discusses elements that make up a Ponzi scheme and explains what a Ponzi scheme is. The paper goes on to introduce some of the victim’s and examines some reasons why someone might fall victim to a Ponzi scheme. The paper describes the three elements making up the fraud triangle and how they relate to the fraud and the fraudster. This paper covers Bernard Madoff’s background and history and how he committed the fraud analyzing the fraud triangle. The paper describes ways to correct the issue, accounting principles violated, and recommendations for a fix. Finally, the paper looks at internal and external controls violated and ends with a conclusion.
Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC operates as a securities broker/dealer in the United States and internationally. It provides executions for broker-dealers, banks, and financial institutions. The company was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in New York, New York. As of December 15, 2008, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC is in liquidation.
Bernie Madoff ran the biggest in the history of the world. The details surrounding the case and the events that were kept secret are the stuff in movies. With all of the regulations, rules, laws, checks and balances the Madoff scam inflated to massive proportions before popping. The scheme as complicated as it was