The bernard madoff investment scandal

The organisational leading of Bernard Madoff Investments Securities LLC was held by Bernard Madoff himself. Madoff ‘s magnetic leading manner included scoring friends, those in privy groups, and even his ain employees. He seduced his clients by doing them to believe they were puting in something particular. He would frequently turn people off, which helped Bernard in wooing people and charities with more assets to offer. Bernard Madoff created a system which was assuring high returns in short footings and was nil else but the Ponzi strategy. The system ‘s thought relied on financess from the new investors to pay misrepresented and highly high returns to the bing investors. He was making this for old ages ; alluring one million millions of dollars from affluent persons, charities by acquiring them to put in his hedge fund. And they did so because of the highly high returns, which were promised by Madoff ‘s house. But if anyone would look profoundly into the construction of his house, it would decidedly demo that something is incorrect. This is because cipher can do such large money, particularly if no 1 else could at the clip. How could one individual, Madoff, who held all his clients assets, priced, and managed them. It is clearly a struggle of involvement. His company was demoing net incomes twelvemonth after twelvemonth, despite most of the companies holding Looss. In fact, Bernard Madoff ‘s instance is perfectly astonishing, both in its scope and in its list of investors who got caught up in it.

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Bernard Madoff – Case Summary

Bernard Madoff opened his house in 1960. His concern began to turn when his father-in-law Saul Alpern, who was an accountant, came to the house. Because there were a batch of competitory houses at that clip, Madoff decided to utilize advanced computing machine information engineering to distribute its quotation marks, which subsequently on became the NASDAQ. This engineering provided his house with a truly good income and at this point his securities become the largest purchasing and selling “ market shaper ” at the NASDAQ. Finally, his strategy reached a astonishing 50 billion dollars under his direction. It came to an terminal after market conditions let to a considerable sum of salvations when investors started to take their money back.

After Bernard Madoff, former NASDAQ president, was arrested on December 11, 2008, he acknowledged that his public presentation was nil but the Ponzi strategy. He pled guilty to the biggest investor fraud of all time committed by anyone on March 12, 2009. On June 29, 2009, he was sentenced to 150 old ages in prison.


Madoff was able to aline himself with affluent persons, leaders involved in foundations, concern entities, and authorities. This empowered him to hold an limitless entree to different groups of investors. Among Madoff ‘s Ponzi strategy victims, it is easy to happen affluent persons, charitable organisations, and its stakeholders, such as employees, communities, sellers, and authorities.

Investors that took the biggest losingss, which was one million millions, because of this strategy are marked in the Wall Street Journal ; among them are Fairfield Greenwich Group, Tremont Capital Management, Banco Santander, Fortis, and others.

Investors lost their money because of their deficiency of witting and unwillingness to understand or recognize that it is impossible to hold such high returns in a lawfully managed investing operation. They besides failed to understand that one twenty-four hours they could lose everything. They would instead believe in a faery tales approximately high returns in short footings, without any effects.

7 Stairss

1. What are the facts of the instance?

Madoff ‘s concern had obvious facts that showed he was making a strategy. First of wholly, because he was being a innovator in electronic trading, he refused to supply his clients with the online entree to their histories and sent out statements by mail. Though, most hedge financess in that clip were e-mailing statements to their investors, in order to supply its clients with convenience and the ability to analyse their history. It should hold been an of import signal to investors, but it was ignored.

Second, Madoff ‘s house processed all of its trades and appeared as its ain broker-dealer. This made impossible for the outside investors to verify their existent retentions. In fact, one of Madoff ‘s unusual tactics was to acquire rid of his retentions by selling them at the terminal of the period. It helped him to avoid registering revelations of his retentions with the SEC. As good, he was ever declining to speak to any outside audit for the ground of secretiveness of his house. This should raise inquiries and concerns amongst its investors, but once more it did non.

The fact that Madoff ‘s fund merely had five down months since 1996 could hold shown investors that Madoff ‘s concern was at least leery and warned them to avoid puting in his hedge fund. It is, for certain, impossible in investing or any concern to hold merely a couple down months in more than 10 old ages of a company ‘s public presentation.

Besides, there are some known factors that helped Madoff to perpetrate his fraud for old ages, including the followers:

Madoff had a good repute in the investing field over the old ages.

Madoff knew how to make the aura of trust.

Madoff invariably promised high and stable returns to his investors.

2. What are the ethical issues?

In 1980s Bernard Madoff was supplying payments to his agents to execute the clients ‘ orders through his securities firm. Later this system received a name, a “ legal kickback ” , and because of this he became the biggest trader in the U.S. stock market. When faculty members questioned the moralss of these payments, Madoff replied that those payments did non alter the monetary value that the client received, and were a legal concern dealing.

In 1999 and 2000 the SEC investigated Madoff ‘s deceitful patterns and they had concerns that his house did non demo its clients ‘ orders to other bargainers, but they could non happen anything illegal.

As good, Madoff was excessively close about his investing public presentation and maintain all fiscal statements closely protected. He normally refused to run into straight with his investors. After some clip, he decided to contrive a new investing method that was assuring changeless returns to selected investors, instead than providing all new investors with high returns. This new invention was excessively complicated for foreigners to understand. That should, for certain, raise some inquiries in his investors, but they did non demand any information and account. Of class, there were some investors in the Madoff instance that used cautiousness and could see that something is non truly clear in his concern, and every bit good because they did non desire to lose their money, they removed it. And it was their best determination in respects to this fraud.

3. What are the norms, rules, & A ; values related to the instance?

The civilization of a company is to a great extent influenced by the actions of high-level direction. Their actions are seen by workers throughout the organisation and aid develop a cultural norm within the company. When lower degree employees witness those above them moving unethically, they will believe that those actions are acceptable and the norm. This can take to all types of unethical actions like, fact concealment, budget distortion, and many other unethical actions that were prevalent in the Madoff instance.

Ethical boundaries are n’t ever clearly defined. The ethical action is non ever absolutely obvious, puting investor ‘s money into hazardous investing while seeking to derive in the short term is illegal. However, if non done carefully, it could be viewed as unethical. Because of this, it is necessary to develop employees in ethical determination devising procedures. Then they will be able to do the right determination when the ethical thing to make is non wholly obvious. In add-on, an ethical environment must be set by direction, in order to advance good ethical determination devising procedures.

Making the right determination in an ethical quandary requires good judgement. Having a good illustration to follow decidedly helps. However, a individual ‘s values and beliefs are of import in doing an ethical determination. If a determination does non look morally right, so it is most likely non an ethical concern determination. Promoting strong values and internal judgement helps employees at all degrees of a company behave ethically.

4. What are the alternate classs of action?

a ) It is really of import to supply instruction to board members about fiscal and operational affairs, every bit good as analyze and modify all processs in administration policy and investing policy countries, and ever to retrieve to avoid struggles of involvement in concern pattern.

B ) It is besides of import to supply investors with company ‘s records, for the intent of due diligence. Inform and explicate to the investors about each company ‘s public presentation, even though it is a clip devouring procedure. This attempt will show a company ‘s committedness to its investors.

5. What is the best class of action?

The best class of the action is decidedly to be unfastened and clear with investors and committed to the best patterns in administration and operations. This will assist the company to win in the competitory investing environment.

6. What are the effects of each possible class of action?

These actions will open new skylines to involvement new investors and will take the company to net income and success.

7. What is the determination?

The flooring Madoff dirt and an unfavourable economic system created ambitious times for stakeholders. In order Foster a competitory environment that will involvement new investors, a company needs to lawfully do net incomes and ever supply clients with all the information. Laws are the minimal codification of behavior to which the company has to stay by. The company can ever take farther actions, beyond what the jurisprudence requires, in order to guarantee investors assurance.

What recommendations would you do to your client about the bing 35 % investing with Bernard Madoff?

This basic rule is frequently overlooked when a peculiar investing is extremely profitable. Peoples are by and large happy when they are gaining high returns and frequently choose non to oppugn it. It ‘s ever wise to maintain the benefits of variegation in head, even when some investings are systematically gaining above the market rate.

First and first, I would explicate to my clients the rock corner of investing basicss, which is “ variegation ” . I would rede my clients of the immense hazard they are taking by puting 35 % of their portfolio in one money director, Bernard Madoff, whose hedge fund was non regulated and publically traded.

I would farther rede my clients the followers:

Divest 30 % of the investing with Bernard Madoff.

Invest 20 % in equity common financess diversified into

Large CAP Value and Growth Fundss

Small Cap Value and Growth Fundss

International Fundss.

Invest 5 % in Sector Equity exchange-traded financess ( ETFs ) . These are index financess, which are normally passively managed. In some instances, directors depend on computing machine theoretical accounts to do determinations. The portfolios are theme-oriented, and in their composing merely mime a securities index or some other plus theoretical account, like a concern sector, geographic part or emerging industry. I would urge energy, wellness & A ; biotech and Technology ETFs.

Invest 5 % in single stocks that pay high dividend systematically. These stocks would bring forth income sporadically, beat the market norm, and supply a major lift-off from low returns.

What recommendation would you do sing the $ 100,000 they presently have in hard currency?

First, I would do the undermentioned premise, in order to suitably reply the inquiry. I would necessitate to administrate the investing advice in late 2008, shortly after the planetary fiscal meltdown:

Couples do non necessitate the $ 100,000 for the following two old ages.

The $ 100,000 comprises less than 10 % of the entire portfolio.

100 % of current portfolio allocated to fixed income and Equity ( i.e. , no plus allotment to short term hard currency histories ) .

Based on the undermentioned premises I would rede my clients to put at least 50 % or $ 50,000 in short-run liquid assets. The ground being, during and shortly after the planetary fiscal meltdown obtaining loan from Bankss was really hard. Cash is king at this clip.

I would urge the following short term investing instruments:

Money Market Mutual Funds.

Certificate of Deposits with 90 twenty-four hours adulthood.

Short-run Investment Funds ( STIF ) . Short-run investing financess comprise hard currency, bank notes, corporate notes, authorities measures and assorted safe short-run debt instruments.

I would rede my clients to put the staying $ 50,000 allocated proportionately to the bing plus categories. ( i.e. , fixed income and equity diversified within these plus categories ) .

How would your recommendation be affected if your client Tells you that they would wish to give the extra $ 100,000 to Madoff to put?

My recommendation would non alter if my client Tells me that they would be interested in puting extra money in Madoff ‘s fund. This is because my recommendation is based on the basicss of investings. However, I would pass more clip explicating to my client the inordinate hazard they are taking by seting a important part of their eggs in one basket.

With the information you have at this point in the instance, is at that place anything else that you should make?

The instance said that I did due diligence. During the due diligence procedure I would inquire the undermentioned inquiries and investigate:

Why is Bernard runing behind the drape in an unregulated hedge fund environment 100 % of the clip?

How can this money director outperform the market 3-4 % all twelvemonth after twelvemonth?

Does Madoff hold any insurance on his investings? The SIPC ( Securities Investor Protection Corporation ) protects up to $ 500,000 of securities investings in the event they are stolen, or your securities firm house closes due to bankruptcy.

Should you advert to your client that the $ 5 million in gross revenues may pull the attending of the IRS, because of the comparative size of that figure compared to the remainder of the return?

Based on the AICPA ‘s Statements on Standards for Tax Services ( SSTS ) and Treasury Department Circular 230, which provides authorization to the Treasury leting disbarment or suspension from pattern before the IRS, it is non considered unethical to advert to my client that the $ 5.0 million investing gross revenues may pull the attending of the IRS.

As a professional revenue enhancement practician, I would forbear from doing those sorts of remarks without any valid grounds. It can even be misdirecting to the client to give this sort of uncorroborated advice.

Should you discourse with your client the possibility that their history is being “ churned ” ?

I would non discourse with my client the possibility of the history being “ churned ” because it is beyond the range of regular revenue enhancement readying. Additionally, churning, if proven can take to prosecution of the agent since it is considered a deceitful pattern.

Churning has been labeled as a deceitful pattern, under the federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Churning is when stock-brokers execute a big volume of gross revenues on their clients ‘ histories. Since those agents are gaining a committee on each dealing, they get paid more if they execute more minutess. So, those deceitful agents would transport out inordinate sums of little minutess, in order to gain their committees, which would easy run out the clients account. After awhile, the investor ‘s history would be reduced, sometimes really significantly, by the cumulative consequence of so many little, but regular charges. Finally, the client ‘s history would be drained and they would n’t cognize how it occurred, or that they had been defrauded.

Based on the information you have therefore far in the instance, what farther information do you believe you need in order to fix the revenue enhancement return with respect to the Madoff investing?

One needs investing gross revenues monetary value to cipher and accurately describe capital addition losingss, and besides verify the sum of gain/loss reported in the sum-up. It is non clear for the instance if the printout naming 100s of minutess includes the gross revenues monetary value of the dealing.

One would besides necessitate the investing purchase monetary value ( footing of the investings ) – to accurately cipher and describe capital additions or losingss. One would besides verify the sum of gain/loss reported in the sum-up, endorsing into this figure from addition or losingss is non sufficient.

The day of the month that the investing purchased and sold, is besides of import in order to find if the capital addition is short-run or long-run.

For options, I was told that there is another printout to be used, but non furnished. Consequently, I need the following to finish the return:

Investing gross revenues monetary value

Investing purchase monetary value ( footing of the investings )

Description of the securities purchased and sold during the twelvemonth

Gain/Loss from the options

Market value of the unfastened options at year-end.

We now know the Madoff investings for some period of clip have been deceitful.

Were there indexs that might hold caused you to respond otherwise with respect to your client ‘s investing?

There were the undermentioned indexs:

There was no on-line entree to histories.

There was no issue of signifiers a ) 1099B ( for investing gross revenues minutess ) , B ) 1099 DIV, and degree Celsius ) 1099 INT.

David G. Friehling, a exclusive CPA practician, audited the hedge fund.

Madoff did non register any revelations of his retentions to the SEC, because he was easy selling his retentions.

The concern can non hold merely match down months when runing for old ages, it is impossible.

In other words, the Madoff instance was filled with marks of fraud that could hold led one to believe that something was traveling on and changed the manner the mean investor feels about puting. Fraud comes in many signifiers, it can be every bit simple as taking money from a company ‘s history, or it can go every bit complex as the Madoff instance. In order to catch fraud in companies every bit complex as Mr. Madoff ‘s, one must pay attending to more elusive marks that could indicate to fraud.

The transparence of Mr. Madoff ‘s company was minimum and should hold alerted person that something was incorrect. Mr. Madoff repeatedly denied foreigners entree to records, which should hold been available. The company ‘s hedge fund was non registered with the SEC until tardily in 2006, which should hold been another mark that something was awry. This shows that Mr. Madoff had something to conceal, because he did non desire the SEC measuring his hedge financess. In add-on, the company ‘s hearer was Mr. Madoff ‘s brother-in-law, which opens the door for deceitful activity. Hearers are supposed to be independent and decidedly non household members of the company that they are scrutinizing. This state of affairs becomes more dismaying when you consider that Mr. Madoff was often opposed to outside audits of any type. A household member as an hearer and a strong opposition to all other audits should hold been the first mark that something fraudulent was happening.

Fundss managed by Mr. Madoff ‘s company performed so good, that it could hold been another hint to the fraud that was taking topographic point. Prognosiss were fiting results, in countries like net incomes per portion, to the point that it became unrealistic to be able to calculate that accurately. Net incomes per portion figures have so many variables that it is about impossible to foretell them accurately clip and clip once more. In 2008, one of Mr. Madoff ‘s hedge financess, which invested in the S & A ; P 500, gained about 6 % in value, while the S & A ; P 500 itself was down over 35 % . This was yet another hint that something in this company was n’t right. Mr. Madoffs ‘ financess seldom lost value, even in times of economic downswing. So, while most investors were losing money in the market, Madoffs ‘ financess continued to gain.

With the advantage of hindsight, what extra due diligence could you hold performed?

In respects to Financial Planning:

A speedy hunt on Google could hold shown that Madoff ‘s pattern get downing 1990s was exposed to accusals that he was front-running his investors, and the thought of this pattern was to purchase or sell portions before make fulling investors ‘ orders. All of the articles and ailments about Madoff in the early 2000 ‘s would hold been revealed every bit good.

Independently investors have to look into the stock monetary values and trades on a day-to-day footing.

Dig into the little accounting Firm that audited Madoff ‘s Fund.

To look into any Web sites in order to derive more information about his pattern, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.

I would rapidly come to the decision that my client should deprive 100 % of their investings in Madoff ‘s fund.

In respects to revenue enhancement readying:

Dig farther into the multi-page printout of listing of 100s of minutess.

Request for a formal 1099B ( for investing gross revenues minutess ) , 1099 DIV, and 1099 INT.

Recalculate the gain/losses reported on the drumhead sheet.

If you run across a similar state of affairs in the hereafter, do you experience any more comfy about how to manage it? Yes.

Would you describe such state of affairs to SES, IRS, or other regulative organic structure? Yes.

From the mid-1990s until 2008, Madoff stopped trading and has been manufacturing investing return of his clients. He and his confederates have committed fraud. The offense was committed based on the value of greed and a get rich rapidly strategy. From the investors standpoint, greed is besides what fueled one million millions of dollars to be invested in Madoff ‘s Hedge Fund.

Investors should hold avoided the followers:

Investing in unregulated sole hedge fund

Lack of variegation

Not plenty due diligence performed on the hedge fund

Higher than mean returns normally can non ever be realistic

Lack of audited fiscal statements

Now that we know how Madoff perpetuated his Ponzi strategy, we will all be better prepared to manage a similar state of affairs. Here are some illustrations:

Perform an extended due diligence procedure that involves extended analysis of hazard steps including drawdown and downside, volatility, public presentation during periods of negative equity market returns, and portfolio hazard direction.

Watch closely for warning marks such as, inordinately consistent and high returns with basically no monthly losingss over many old ages.

Verify filing with the SEC, on U.S listed, equity retentions. The filings will demo the true equity portfolio worth.

Perform mention cheque of the director ‘s unity, repute, and historical investing accomplishment.

Evaluation of operational controls, rating processs, and an appraisal of the hedge fund ‘s cardinal suppliers including audit house, premier agent and decision maker.

6 Pillars



Though Madoff was executing the investing operations as a Ponzi strategy, but when his investors wanted to hold their money back, they got it without any holds. Of class, this does non demo his duty to all the investors, but a small per centum to those who were smart plenty to retreat their investing from his fund. Those investors decidedly were cognizant that Madoff ‘s house does non carry on its concern minutess harmonizing to jurisprudence and moralss.

In fact, Madoff has violated largely all 6 pillars, such as trustiness, regard, duty, equity, lovingness, and citizenship. His lone end was to profit himself and his household, while wholly disregarding the wellbeing of others. Madoff cared small about those he harmed and merely worked to break himself at the disbursal of others.

Therefore, from an ethical position, Madoff ‘s cozenage was a white colour offense. White colour offense creates victims by set uping trust and reputability. As in this instance, victims of white-color offense trusting clients, who believed there were many cheques and balances certified the Madoff investing operation as legitimate. Madoff appears to be the authoritative white-collar felon. He was an educated and experienced single in a place of power, trust, reputability, and duty, who abused his trust of personal additions. From the origin of his investing concern, he knew he was runing a Ponzi strategy and victimizing his clients. As a consequence, he is functioning gaol clip and will be paying damages for the remainder of his life. In the terminal, he knew this twenty-four hours would come.


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