Bernard Bernie Madoff Essay Sample

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Bernard Lawrence Madoff was born April 29, 1938 in New York City to the parents of Ralph and Sylvia Madoff. His father was a child of a Polish immigrant, and worked as a plumber for years. Madoff mother was a daughter of a Romanian and Austrian immigrant, she was a housewife. Madoff parents married in 1932 when the great depression was at its height. After struggling financially for years, they got involved in finance in the 1950s. Bernard Madoff parents was not successful with the trade, his mother was registered as a broker-dealer in the 1960s making their home the office of their company called Gibraltar Securities. They were shut down by the SEC for not reporting their financial conditions. Bernard Madoff was educated by attending Far Rockaway High School, University of Alabama, Hofstra University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, Brooklyn Law School. Bernard married his high school sweetheart Ruth Alpern, who attended Queens College and studied finance. While Bernie was working as a lifeguard and installing sprinkler systems he saved and used 5,000 dollars for him and his wife to start Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities, LLC.

Bernard Madoff had got helped from his father-in-law, a C.P.A. retiree, with his company. Bernie business had attracted investors through word-of-mouth and he had an impressive client list that included the rich, not so rich and the famous. With an annual return of 10 percent or more it grew Bernie’s company fame and reliability, and by the 1980s he handled up to five percent of the trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bernard Madoff had several family members work for him, his brother Peter the Chief Compliance Officer, sons Andrew and Mark was traders, Peter’s daughter, Shana, a Rules Compliance Lawyer for the trading division, and his son Roger. In December of 2008, Madoff admitted to his sons that part of his company was an elaborate Ponzi scheme. His sons reported him to the federal authorities. Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud. Madoff admitted to investigators that he lost 50 billion of his investors’ money; he pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts, 3 counts of money laundering and so many more counts. Bernie was imprisons until a sentencing hearing schedule early June 2009. Madoff was sentence to 150 years in prison on June 29, 2009, the max a person his age can get.

Describe three types of illegal business alleged against Mr. Madoff and for each type of behavior, explain how the behavior is illegal or unethical in the conduct of business.

The three types of illegal business were deceptive practices, theft, and fraud. In fraud Madoff was accuse of securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud. In theft he was accuse of channeling money from new investors to old investors, and taking from an employee benefit plan. In deceptive practices he was accuse of managing the money of several investors who did not know he was doing this. The Securities Exchange Act (1934) stipulated audits of publicly traded companies, including procedures “designed to provide reasonable assurance of detecting illegal acts that would have a direct and material effect on determination of financial statement accounts.” The Federal Trade Commission Act (1914) says it is prohibit unfair practice and deceptive act in or affecting commerce.

Persons who violate the antifraud provisions of the federal securities law are subject to private suits for damages, civil enforcement actions by the SEC, and criminal prosecution. Monopolizing trade- this is unlawful according to Sherman Antitrust Act (1890). “Mail fraud is an offense under United States Federal Law that includes any scheme that attempts to unlawfully obtain money or valuables in which the postal service is used at any point of the commission of a criminal offense.”

Name three types of parties who were impacted by the actions of Mr. Madoff and describe how they were impacted.

Three parties that were affected by Madoff actions were, Fairfield Greenwich Advisors, an investment management firm. More than half of Greenwich’s 14.1 billion in assets under management, or about 7.5 billion was connected to Madoff. Ascot Partner, a hedge fund founded by billionaire investor, philanthropist and GMAC chief J. Ezra Merkin, 1.8billion was invested with Madoff that was lost. Carl Shapiro, the founder and former chairman of Apparel Company Kay Windsor Inc., and his wife. The 95 year old lost an estimated 400 million, including the 250 million he gave Madoff on December 1. His charitable foundation lost an estimated 100 million; Carl was one of Madoff earliest and biggest investors. Madoff family and close friend along with employees was impacted by his actions these people was use to a life style that was like no other.

Describe three business safeguards (risk management) that may have prevented the harm cause be Mr. Madoff.

Three safeguards that I see that could have been prevented was, Mr. Bernie had hired several members of his family whom some of them if not all never did any senior level work. He had only one accountant/ bookkeeper, and he was paying bonuses when the business was taking losses. Simply put, too many immediate members of Bernie Madoff’s family maintained controlling positions, and none of them could be held accountable by anyone else employed by the firm. This rampant nepotism created a wall of operational secrecy, which often proved to be impenetrable even by close associates to the Madoff’s. The only accountant for this firm was this not a red flag, enough for everyone to want to check his background out and request for an outside audit on this person.

Describe three ways private investors might have better protected themselves from risk.

Private investors could have protect themselves by investigating Mr.Madoff‘s investment company first, checking them out to make sure they were up on top of everything. Pay attention to what kind of business dealings his company was doing, follow his financial reports and ask around about how he is able to make the returns that he is promising. Use such methods as practicing due diligence whenever one is presented with new financial opportunities. Many investors were led astray on the poor advice of their friends and family. One should investigate third-party custodian relationships at investment firms, and review their auditing practices.

Always ask question when something don’t seem right or ask questions when things don’t add up. Request for a meeting, to discuss financial reports with the bookkeeper there with his books. Request certain documents that should support their financial reporting. Hand-written, photo copied statements are not proper reports these can be altered and raise suspicious.

Describe three legal actions that possibly may be brought against Mr. Madoff under criminal or civil law.

The legal action that possibly can be brought against Mr. Madoff could be securities fraud, investment fraud, and money laundering and false fillings with the SEC. Madoff can be charged with criminal law and civil law charges. Criminal Law for violation of the laws from the illegal crime he did. Civil Law for non criminal agreement and the 11 counts of felony that he’s being charge with.


Bernard Madoff. (2012), June 05, 2012
Bernie MADOFF PONZI SCHEME: Victim List Grows. Madoff’s. Victim, March 6, 2009.The Wall Street Journal Frontline. The Madoff Affair

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