ABC is ready to take on the Bernie Madoff scandal head-on — but are you? Get caught up on the whole story before tuning in to the two-night miniseries.
Who exactly is Bernie Madoff? The man who committed fraud, sure, but what exactly went down nearly ten years ago that left him off of the news and behind bars? Well, Richard Dreyfuss will be taking on the role for ABC’s special, along side Blythe Danner, who portrays (very well, I might add), Ruth Madoff.
1. Bernie Madoff Was A Rich Man, Thanks To A Ponzi Scheme
The non-executive chairman of NASDAQ stock and founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960 was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008 after his sons revealed to authorities that his firm was operated by a massive Ponzi scheme — and said their father described it as “one big lie.” FBI arrested him on one count of securities fraud — at first.
2. Three Months After His Arrest, The Secrets Were Revealed
In March 2009, he pleaded guilty to eleven felonies, causing billions of dollars to be lost from investors. He also revealed he began the Ponzi scheme in the 90s. Judge Denny Chin gave him a sentence of 150 years in prison — the longest sentence he could give. The judge also called his scheme “extraordinary evil.”.
3. Steven Spielberg Was Involved
Bernie’s company’s client list included some big Hollywood names (it was a 162-page document). The director was on the list, as well as John Malkovich, Larry King and Kevin Bacon. However, the stars were not the focus — instead, the charities like the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation and The Jewish Company Foundation of LA lost millions.
4. Bernie and Ruth’s Sons Have Both Died Since The Arrest
Mark, 46, was found hanging in his apartment on Dec. 10, 2010 — two years to the day after his father’s apartment. His toddler son was sleeping in the next room. Then in 2014, Bernie’s other son, Andrew died from mantle cell lymphomia. After he announced his cancer returning, Andrew had blamed the cancer on the stress from the case.
5. Bernie Is Working In Prison
According to CNN, Bernie is working at Butner Federal Correctional Complex — he’s in charge of basically the housekeeping. He keeps the common area picked up and dusts the room. He works a few hours a day for $40 a month; he was also so broke he reportedly make his phone call for the interview collect.
You can watch Madoff on Feb. 3 and 4, starting at 8PM on ABC.