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