No, not Bernie Madoff. He deserves to be where he is serving the one hundred and gazillion years or whatever that he got for defrauding a large amount of good honest people.
I'm talking about his sons, because today justice was done and it was done in Ye Olde England. The NY Times Dealbook wrote about the case brought against Bernie Madoff’s two sons Mark and Andrew.
Both brothers have been been dragged through hell and back yet it seems to be an often forgotten fact that it was Mark and Andrew who turned their father in when they discovered his crime. One can only imagine what it must have been like to find out the man you respected and loved was a fraud and then to find the courage to do the right thing.
In very clear terms, Judge Popplewell criticised the witch-hunt that continues to this day by the US based Madoff trustee Mr. Irving H. Picard.
Judge Popplewell had harsh words for Mr. Picard. He criticized the “poisonous press releases” issued in the case and how he had pursued the defendants “aggressively and relentlessly over several years, on occasion with an unfair degree of hyperbole.”
Just like the victims of Bernie Madoff, the price paid by the brothers and their loved ones has been high. Mark Madoff ended up taking his own life in 2010 leaving behind a wife and two small children. Andrew has had to fight through the constant legal battles while suffering from cancer. The judge was very clear on this point:
I very much regret that I must have added to their burden by the time it has taken to prepare this judgment,” he wrote. “The resolute and temperate way they have conducted themselves in these proceedings does them great credit.
There are no winners in the Bernie Madoff tsunami of destruction except for Irving H. Picard and his crew who have racked up bills of hundreds of millions chasing Bernie’s (fraudulently made) money. For Mr. Picard the Bernie Madoff fraud is the gift that keeps on giving.
Mind you, one can’t blame him for lack of effort. He has recovered over $9 billion of the missing $17 billion, which is not bad considering this was an out and out fraud.
This is particularly interesting in comparison to this week’s news regarding Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase. They have to pay out USD 13 billion for their naughtiness and guess what Jamie Dimon is still in his post as top dog at JP Morgan. Compare that to Bernie’s still missing USD 6 billion and you start wondering where’s the justice?
I have to admit though that I am a little partial. I read the book End of Normal written by the widow of Mark Madoff and it was a deeply touching book. (I’ve also read several books by his victims, also very touching). For anyone who is interested in the Madoff story I don’t think you can form an overall opinion without at least reading Stepahnie Madoff Mack’s book.
Bernie Madoff left behind a legacy of human emotional suffering of which there still seems no end in sight.