In his first published prison interview, Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff told the New York Times that the banks and hedge funds he dealt with "had to know" about the fraud he was perpetrating but behaved with "willful blindness."
"I am saying that the banks and funds were complicit in one form or another," Madoff told the Times. He had earlier claimed that he was the only person involved, though as we noted, allegations made by federal authorities and the trustee appointed to recover funds for Madoff's victims had already cast doubt on whether that was true.
We detailed, for instance, how Jeffry Picower, one of Madoff's investors, became the single largest winner in the scam and likely made more than Madoff himself. Was Picower in on the scam?
This initial interview doesn't answer that question, though perhaps the author's forthcoming book on the Madoff scandal may answer more. Here are a few questions still on our mind that we asked via Twitter:
- Was Jeffry Picower, Madoff's largest beneficiary, in on the scam, and if so, how?
- Who was "Client A," who in 2005 helped to bail out the Ponzi scheme? Were there others?
- If JPMorgan issued securities based on Madoff feeder funds, was anybody shorting those notes? Who?
- As alluded to in the JPMorgan lawsuit, were Colombian drug lords involved with Madoff in some way?
- Apart from those who worked directly for Madoff, who else knowingly participated in Ponzi?
If you've got more questions, add them to the mix in the comments below or on Twitter.