BOCA RATON (CBS4) – Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff told a reporter for New York Magazine that his investors were “greedy” and that he is a “good person.”

One of his South Florida victims responded that Madoff is “a pathological liar.”

Madoff gave a series of interviews to the magazine. He apologized for his actions but said it could have been worse for his investors.

“Did people lose profits that they thought they made? Yes,” Madoff said. “Did they lose capital? I’m sure. I’m confident that when this thing is finished, very few people, if any, will lose their principal.”

Madoff admits that the people who lost the most where the investors who invested right before his scheme imploded.

Madoff said he simply went along with a plan to concoct a Ponzi scheme and said his investors were “greedy.”

Stephie Halio, a longtime investor along with her husband, lost nearly all of their retirement savings to Madoff. Halio said Madoff’s accusations that his investors were greedy is wrong.

“He was living off the money that he stole from us,” Halio told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “I don’t understand how he can call us greedy.”

Madoff said his investors were after the big returns he promised year after year.

Halio, who has gone back to work along with her husband, said that’s not true.

“The reason people invested with him is because his returns were steady,” she said. “He was supposed to be conservative. That’s why people were with him.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Madoff claims that no one in his family knew about his fraud and that he suffered by keeping the details secret.

“Imagine going home every night not being able to tell your wife, living with this ax over your head, not telling your sons, my brother, seeing them every day in the business and not being able to confide in them,” Madoff told the New York Magazine.

Halio, again, takes issue with Madoff’s comments.

“I’m not sure how he suffered,” she said. “Did he suffer on his yacht in the French Riviera? Did he suffer traveling to the top resorts in the world, having all his jewelry and his penthouse? I would like to suffer the same way.”

Madoff told the reporter he didn’t carry out his fraud to enrich himself or his family — he said he had more than enough money to meet their desires. However, Madoff said at one point several years ago, he realized he was in such a financial mess that he could not get out of it.

He said he tried to subtly warn his investors to take their money out of his operation but they refused to do so.

Madoff also spoke about the suicide of his son Mark. He told the New York Magazine that he wept for weeks afterward and knows that he destroyed his family. He said his wife, Ruth, initially stood by him but not anymore.

“How could she not be angry at me?” he said. “But she feels sorry for me to a certain extent because she realizes I’m not a horrible person.”

Halio cannot understand why Madoff felt the need to explain his actions.

“He doesn’t have a side to this story,” she said.

Source:  New York Magazine

Comments (7)
  1. Jimbo99 says:

    “Halio, …“The reason people invested with him is because his returns were steady,” she said. “He was supposed to be conservative. That’s why people were with him.””

    The returns that Madoff was promising that were consistent are hardly that of a conservative investor. Anyone with a 401-K knows this and since Hallo was a veteran investor, she had to know there was nothing conservative about a portfolio yeilding those level of returns. Then again, the last decade, look at home prices in South Florida. I don’t own a home, but in my neighborhood from 2001 to 2006, home prices quadrupled. Even I knew there was a lot of fraud & abuse going on there. A lot of people were robbing the system blind during the Bush Administrations. They knew what they were doing and those that bought low at the front end of the real estate bubble tripled and quadrupled their money at every property flip. We have this mess now and not nearly enough frauds are being imprisoned for what occurred.

  2. Jimbo99 says:

    Hallo being a veteran investor, had the sophistication to know something was wrong, she and her hubby were on board. I give credit to Madoff for knowing his clientelle and they were looking to better their lot considerably. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

  3. yokolee says:

    For what ever this man do or did not

    his son is dead, nothing can be compare with that…..

    1. Jimbo99 says:

      Well $ 50 billion, I’m sure a few have zero sympathy for that.

  4. South Beach Guy says:

    These investors sound like morons. I do investing for people and have people all the time coming to me saying they want 30% returns and no fees or they are going somewhere else. I say good luck and laugh.

    “Halio, …“The reason people invested with him is because his returns were steady,” she said. “He was supposed to be conservative. That’s why people were with him.”” This says it all. “Steady” and “conservitave” get you about 4 to 5 percent a year return. Not 900 percent.

  5. Happytospeakout says:

    Jimbo — I kind of feel sorry for you actually, since you are believing the rantings of a pathological liar. Where do you guys get your information? 900% THAT is what was paid to Carl Shapiro – a clear insider. And @South Beach Guy who said anything about 30% returns? Why not stick to the points of the story – better yet, do some research and may you never have to deal with what Madoff investors have to deal with. You think it can’t happen to you? Think again.

  6. klerg says:

    While Jimbo may be a little harsh, his point is correct: “steady and conservative” positive returns are not the norm. A proper investment portfolio should swing with the market over the long haul; i.e., you should lose money in some years. Yes, the returns were not 16-20% year in/year out, but I’ve yet to find a Madoff victim report a down year.

    The issue here is that hindsight is always 20/20, especially when it comes to reviewing investment mistakes. Reviewing these mistakes may not help the Madoff victim’s cause or make them feel better, but it’s an inevitable part of the process. And in reviewing these mistakes, people will never have to deal with what Madoff investors have to deal with…just like Happytospeakout said.

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