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Bernard Lawrence, commonly known as Bernie Madoff, was born in Queens, New York in 1938. Despite coming from poor beginnings, Bernie was able to steal billions of dollars from innocent victims and build a fortune through financial deception.
When the 2008 economic crisis hit the United States, it woke Americans up to the vast fraud that had been stealing billions of dollars from their pockets since the 1960s. According to the video "Bernie Madoff - Scamming of America (FULL) Documentary," Madoff is similar to the well-known financial fraudster Charles Ponzi, who used his con artist skills to perpetrate fraudulent activities in Boston in the 1920s. Same as Ponzi, Bernie used his charm and confidence to lure his victims into investing millions of dollars in his scheme by assuring them constant and steady returns even in economic downturn periods.
What is most surprising about the Madoff story is the magnanimous scale of his operations that, despite raising red flags as highlighted by independent investigator Harry Markopolos, was not found to be fraudulent by U.S officials, especially the SEC, which was tasked with investigating such crimes (Telegraph Reporters, 2017). This was a reflection of what was going on in Wall Street where fraudulent operations that majorly contributed to the 2008 financial, economic crisis that led to millions of people losing their money and livelihoods in an unexpected turn of events that lead to the crash of the stock market. Among other criminal elements who made off with millions that contributed to the crisis, Madoff alone stole fifty-billion dollars, with some of his clients claiming that they were exposed to almost half of this amount ("Con of the Century").
"Bernie Madoff - Scamming Of America (FULL) Documentary." 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO4CIPuaTJ4.
"Con of the Century." The Economist, 2017, http://www.economist.com/node/12818310.
Telegraph Reporters. "Bernard Madoff: How Did He Get Away With It for So Long?" The Telegraph, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/0/bernard-madoff-did-get-away-long/.
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