- NAME: Bernard Madoff
- OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur, White Collar Criminal
- BIRTH DATE: April 29, 1938 (Age: 75)
- EDUCATION: Far Rockaway High School, University of Alabama, Hofstra University, Brooklyn Law School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Queens, New York
- Full Name: Bernard Lawrence Madoff
- Full Name: Bernard Madoff
- AKA: Bernie Madoff
- ZODIAC SIGN: Taurus
Best Known For
Bernard Madoff was a stockbrocker who ran his multibillion-dollar firm as a grand scale Ponzi scheme. He is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence.
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As Madoff's fame as a successful investor grew, Madoff Securities began using computer technology to develop stock quotes. The program that the firm tested and helped to develop became the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, or NASDAQ. Madoff later served as president of the board of directors for the NASDAQ stock exchange.
As the business expanded,
Madoff began employing more and more of his family members to help with the company. His brother Peter joined him in the business in 1970 as the firm's chief compliance officer. Later, Madoff's sons Andrew and Mark also worked for the company as traders. Peter's daughter, Shana, became a rules-compliance lawyer for the trading division of her uncle's firm, and his son, Roger, joined the firm before his death in 2006.
But Madoff became famous for a very different reason on December 10, 2008. After the investor informed his sons that he planned to give out several million dollars in bonuses two months earlier than scheduled, they demanded to know where the money was coming from. Madoff then admitted that a branch of his firm was actually an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Madoff's sons reported their father to federal authorities, and the next day Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud.
Madoff reportedly admitted to investigators that he had lost $50 billion of his investors' money, and pled guilty to 11 felony counts—securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, false statements, perjury, false filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and theft from an employee benefit plan—on March 12, 2009. While the extent of his fraud is still being uncovered, prosecutors say $170 billion moved through the principal Madoff account over decades, and that before his arrest the firm's statements showed a total of $65 billion in accounts.
Madoff was imprisoned until a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 16th. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison on June 29, 2009—the maximum possible prison sentence for the 71-year-old defendant.
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Despite their high economic standing, these white-collar criminals, arrested for a variety of crimes, proved not to be above the law. Explore Biography.com's collection of white-collar criminals for more on the likes of Charles Ponzi, Raj Rajaratnam, Bernard Ebbers, Jeffrey Skilling, Kenneth Lay, Ivan Boesky, Bernard Madoff, Jordan Belfort and many more.
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