Tuesday, January 6, 2009

He wasn't Robin Hood

He took from the rich
And kept from the poor
Bernard Madoff
Knew how to lure

Corporate investments
A man they could trust
Soon finding out
They had gone bust

Retirement money
They thought was secure
Now finding out
They've become poor

A Ponzi scheme
That's what it's called
Those not involved
Were also appalled

Returns on their money
A higher percent
From charities
Their funds he spent

If the investment’s
Too good to be true
It could be someone
Who's fooling your

By, Randee Saber 1/6/08

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Street for decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday, Dec.,11, 2008 with allegedly running a $50 billion "Ponzi scheme" in what may rank among the biggest fraud cases ever. The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is best known as the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. But he also ran a hedge fund that U.S. prosecutors said racked up $50 billion of fraudulent losses. Madoff told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that "it's all just one big lie" and that it was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme," with estimated investor losses of about $50 billion, according to the U.S. Attorney's criminal complaint against him. A Ponzi scheme is a swindle offering unusually high returns, with early investors paid off with money from later investors. "There is no innocent explanation," Madoff said, according to the criminal complaint. He told the agents that it was all his fault, and that he "paid investors with money that wasn't there," according to the complaint. U.S. prosecutors charged Madoff, 70, with a single count of securities fraud. They said he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million.Madoff has been conducting a Ponzi scheme since at least 2005, the U.S. said. Around the first week of December, Madoff told a senior employee that hedge fund clients had requested about $7 billion of their money back, and that he was struggling to pay them.