Essay The Madoff Ponzi Scheme

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Introduction
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.

Investors were so
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Madoff admitted to this fraud in March 2009 and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. While the total scheme is estimated to be about $50-65 billion from his investors would account to less than $10 billion when discovered. Although the Madoff scandal revealed the activities were illegal and unethical, another scandal equally present in the scheme was that the U.S. government and regulators failed to protect investors.

The Growth of an Empire
Bernie Madoff, son of Ralph and Sylvia Madoff, grew up in a modest three-bedroom home in Laurelton, a small middle class area outside of Queens, New York. Little is known about Bernie’s parents, except each had one or more issues with the government. Ralph, had a tax debt in excess of $13,000, placing a lien on his home, assessed in 1956 and not paid until 1965. Sylvia was part of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proceedings in 1963 to determine if broker-dealers of Gibralter Securities failed to report financial conditions, which could revoke their registrations. However, in 1964, the SEC dismissed the proceedings with what appeared to be a deal for these identified individuals to stay out of the business.

Bernie had one brother and sister, Peter and Sondra. He attended Far Rockaway High School, although not considered to be very competitive or excel in the area of academics; he was a…

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