On March 12, 2009, Bernie Madoff pled guilty to the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He successfully swindled investors out of $65 billion. Although many Wall Street experts revered Madoff as a genius, many financial professionals were not surprised to learn that he was one of the biggest crooks they had ever come across. Some people were afraid they’d be ostracized if they spoke out against Madoff, and they simply kept quiet about their concerns about his investment portfolio and earnings.
Unfortunately, Ponzi schemes are fairly common, but this one was one of a kind. Most Ponzi schemes operate on a very small scale, but Madoff was clearly a big thinker who caused major damage.