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60 Minutes…You Let Us Down With the Madoff Interviews

I love CBS 60 Minutes: I grew up watching the show and idolizing reporters Lesley Stahl, Morley Safer and Andy Rooney.

But this past Sunday’s show was a disappointment and a slap in the face to the victims of Bernie Madoff’s billion-dollar swindle. I could barely finish watching the softball questions the show threw at Ruth and Andrew Madoff.

Sorry, but if Ruth isn’t guilty, why did she try to commit double-suicide with her husband Bernie?

Andrew was the head of the firm’s Nasdaq trading desk; so why did he redeem nearly $15 million in Dell trades–an important Nasdaq listing–that took place before he ever opened the account? Where is the rest of the $60 million he withdrew from all his accounts and why haven’t the family members given the money back to victims?

All 60 Minutes needs is the trustee’s suit against the Madoff family members which shows: a) Peter Madoff  “invested” $32,000 in the hedge fund and redeemed $17 million; b) Mark Madoff “invested” $745,000 in and took out $18 million and c) Andrew “invested” $900,000 and took out $17 million.  And these profits were made on trades that never took place in the phony hedge fund.

Excerpts from the suit: “Mark and Andrew Madoff supervised trading at the company’s proprietary trading and market-making operations. They were, therefore, aware at all times—or, at the very least, should have been aware—of the trading volume and price ranges of the stocks traded… They knew or should have known that the profits and executions described in customers’ account statements, including their own, did not correspond to actual market conditions.”

“Andrew made most of the phony trades in his account #1M0140. No money was invested into this account,  yet he redeemed over $14.5 million between 1998 and November 2008. A July 21, 1998 entry on the account statement shows that the Dell shares were purportedly ‘sold,’ generating a gain of $1,985,000. Three days later, on or about July 24, 1998, he redeemed $1,956,205 from this account.”

“The trustee discovered $60 million transferred to Andrew Madoff or to entities on his behalf. Between 2001 and 2008, Andrew was paid $31,105,505 in salary and bonus. His compensation included bonuses of over $4.8 million in 2006, and over $9 million in 2007, alone. Beyond this amount, Andrew seeks an additional $40,624,525 in deferred compensation.” (not a typo…he says he’s owed more money after the Ponzi scheme collapsed).

Enough said.

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