White Collar Crime: Ponzi Scheme with a Focus on Bernard Madoff

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White Collar Crime: Ponzi Scheme with a Focus on Bernard Madoff NAME College White Collar Crime: Ponzi Scheme with a Focus on Bernard Madoff Most people, when they hear the word “crime,” think about street crime or violent crime such as murder, rape, theft, or drugs. However, there is another type of crime that has cost people their life savings, investors’ billions of dollars, and has had significant impacts of multiple lives; it is called white collar crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines white collar crime as illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence. Individuals and organizations…show more content…
One victim, Michael Bienes, after being asked if he ever suspected that Madoff was up to no good, he responded, “Up to no good? He was a god. He was my life” (Lewis, 2011). Another victim describes him as “an approachable man” that “everyone looked up to…and respected” (Lewis, 2011). Carmen Dell’Orefice, former companion of Madoff’s “best friend,” Norman Levy, stated that “I think of him as always smiling,” “quiet and caring,” “shy, but so sure of himself” (Lewis, 2011). “He was able to fool a great many people for a very long time” (Lewis, 2011). Many times in a Ponzi scheme the offender targets people they do not know personally but not Madoff. He had family, friends, employees and even charities and non-profit organizations as investors. “He tapped local money pulled in from country clubs and charity dinners, where investors sought him out to casually plead with him to manage their savings so they could start reaping the steady, solid returns their envied friends were getting” (Colesanti, 2012). “Levy invested $100,000” for Dell’Orefice, who felt honored to be a part of the “exclusive fund” (Lewis, 2010). Sheryl Weinstein, who was a friend of Madoffs for nearly 24 years, lost her entire savings to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. “The charitable foundation of philanthropist Carl Shapiro had invested about 45 percent of its assets ($345 million) in Madoff's fund” (Auerbach, 2009). It is “estimated that Madoff's scam cost Jewish philanthropies at least $600 million, and

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