10 Things You Didn't Know About Bernard Madoff

Madoff pled guilty to charges stemming from a $65 billion fraud.

Bernard Madoff arrives at federal court in New York. Madoff will plead guilty to charges that he engineered one of the largest investment scams in U.S. history and was ready to face a prison sentence of up to 150 years.

Bernard Madoff arrives at federal court in New York.

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1. Bernard L. Madoff was born April 29, 1938, in the Rockaways section of Queens, N.Y.

2. He graduated from Far Rockaway High School, where he met his future wife, Ruth Alpern. While in high school, Madoff was on the swim team and worked as a lifeguard.

3. Madoff spent a year at the University of Alabama and joined the Jewish fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu before transferring to Hofstra University. He graduated from Hofstra with a political science degree in 1960.

4. He briefly attended the Brooklyn Law School but left to start Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in 1960 with $5,000 he had saved from life guarding and installing and repairing sprinkler systems.

5. As his reputation grew, so did his prominence. He helped pioneer electronic trading, testified before congressional committees on financial matters, and served as chairman of the board of the Nasdaq Stock Market.

6. An avid golfer who often shot in the 80s, Madoff belonged to a number of exclusive clubs.

7. His sons, Andrew and Mark, became senior employees at his firm. The two turned their father in to federal authorities in December when his Ponzi scheme became public.

8. The fraud, which is estimated at $65 billion, may be the biggest in Wall Street history.

9. When he was charged with fraud, Madoff owned a $7 million penthouse in Manhattan, a mansion in the Hamptons, a villa on the French Riviera, and yachts in the Mediterranean, Florida, and New York. One 56-foot boat was named The Bull.

10. The 11 counts of fraud, perjury, theft, and money laundering that he plead guilty to could net Madoff 150 years at his June 16 sentencing.


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