Deadly Women (with Matt Fullerty)

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is Bernie Madoff 'Free at Last'?


In a recent New York magazine article, writer Steve Fishman sheds light on Bernie Madoff's life behind bars. The lengthy profile reveals a string of insider details, some far more telling than accounts of Madoff's prison rumble back in October.

For starters, the disgraced financier viewed by most as a thief and criminal for swindling an estimated $65 billion in history's worst Ponzi scheme, is regarded as somewhat of a celebrity at the federal correctional complex in Butner, N.C. He has an entourage of "groupies," according to the article, and though he shuns all autograph requests, he has managed to cultivate these relationships over time. Some even go as far as dubbing him "a hero" and turn to him for advice on anything from investing to entrepreneurship.

Then there's Madoff's talent for delegating duties on to others, hiring an inmate to do his laundry for $8 a month -- negotiating a discounted rate nonetheless. On the flip side, Madoff has energetically thrown himself into the prison-work world, even though he's exempted from chores because of his age. Fishman writes:

"He proposed that he serve as the clerk in charge of budget. He had qualifications—he'd been chairman of NASDAQ. 'Hell, no,' said the supervisor to Evans, laughing. 'I do my own budget. I know what he did on the outside.'"

Instead, Madoff was assigned to maintenance and cafeteria floor-sweeping duty.

Perhaps the most startling inclusion in the article is that Madoff reportedly feels little remorse for what he has done. Instead, Fishman suggests he might even be relieved that he is no longer living a lie. The article explains:

"'It was a nightmare for me,' he told investigators, using the word over and over, as if he were the real victim. 'I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago,' he said in a little-noticed interview with them."

As for his victims...

"'F--k my victims,' he said, loud enough for other inmates to hear. 'I carried them for twenty years, and now I'm doing 150 years.'"

For an in-depth view on Madoff's life in prison, read Steve Fishman's full article in New York magazine.

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Message Edited by ReneeDeFranco on 06-09-2010 10:08 AM
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