Before David rolled out of bed at 6:15 A.M. like he did every morning. He quietly leaned toward his wife Sarah and gave her a soft kiss on her check. After he rolled out of bed, he slowly and silently went down the long hallway in his mansion, in Palm Beach Florida, to the stairs and then out to his mailbox where the Wall Street Journal waited for him to read. He does not want to wake up his two teenage daughters Shayna and Rachel who are fifteen and seventeen.
David’s favorite section of the Journal is the Business Section that is because he was a successful businessman who made his money in real estate and investing in the stock market. He also was a very well respected person in the Jewish and city community because he made sure whatever he was kosher. David went back into his house and quickly made himself a cup of black coffee.
After he finished making his coffee, he then went and sat at the kitchen table and started to browse for the Business Section. While David opened the Journal, he saw May 15th, 1974 on the top center of the page. After he saw the date, he quickly remembered that he had scheduled a tee time with his friends today to play at the country club, the Palm Beach Country Club. Moreover, in order to make his tee time, he can only pick one article to read today. As he picked an article to read, one person’s name caught his eye. That name was Bernie Madoff.
David had always been intrigued by how Bernie Madoff had made a very reputable name for himself, a very well-respected person in the financial industry. Moreover, the article about Bernie Madoff was just that. While David read the article about Bernie Madoff, he learned that he sat on the board of National Association of Securities Dealers. The article also stated Bernie Madoff was so well regarded that he had been asked on numerous occasions to advise the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on trading securities. Once David was close the end of the article he saw that Bernie Madoff had recently started a firm called Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, which invested only for exclusive clientele and was not open to the public.
What they invested in was top secret and was only known by clientele and the employees of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. The moment David saw that Bernie Madoff had recently started a new firm, he was excited, he hoped somehow to be able to be included in the exclusive investment group.As David pulled up to the country club, he noticed something out of the ordinary, a 1974 Mercedes 450SLC.
David wondered whose it was because he knew all of the people at the club at 7:40 A.M. they are the regular golf people and from over the years of playing golf at the country club and being a member, David learned who everyone was and what they drove. As he walked into the club, he saw that all of the members who had signed up for an earlier tee time were still in the club and not on the course. They all congregated around one man at the bar. David thought, why were people not on the course, all of these guys loved golf and would not have wanted to miss golf even if it was during their daughter’s wedding. All of his thoughts changes once he was able to get a glimpse of who the person was.
It was Bernie Madoff. David was shocked; he got butterflies in his stomach. He could not believe that the Journal that morning had an article about someone whom he admired, and then he was at his country club.David knew he had to find a way to talk to Bernie Madoff. So he strolled towards the group. As he got closer to the group, he overheard people saying, “They saw the article about him and are pleased to meet him.
” David had to weasel his way into the conjugated crowd. Once he finally got near the front, one of David’s good friends, Ethan, who ended up being one of the many machers for Bernie Madoff, pulled David next to him and introduced to him to Bernie Madoff. A Macher in a Ponzi scheme was someone that always talked about how good their investments were doing in a particle investment group, even though they did not actually invest at all in the fund because it was completely fake. They would talk about how it was exclusive and how no one can get in, but then he would tell the person interested, “I could probably get you in.” The Machers did this because Ponzi schemes only worked if they could continuously have new investors invest, due to people who had previously invested wanting to get their money out. When David shook Bernie Madoff hand, he was in complete shock.
Due to David barely being able to speak, Ethan facilitated the beginning of David and Bernie Madoff talking. He said, ” I know that you do not let just anybody into the fund, but I think you should consider David to be allowed in.” Bernie Madoff said, “I know we normally do not let anyone in, but if you think I should give David a shot, Ethan, then I will.” All of the other men around them were jealous of David because they also all wanted to schmooze their way into the fund.
After Bernie Madoff said he would talk to David, he then asked Ethan to find an unused meeting room at the country club so he and David could talk in private.Once Ethan found a room for them to talk in private, Bernie Madoff asked David to have a seat next to him. Bernie took the chair at the head of the table due to it was larger and wanted that he wanted to show David he did not need David, David needed him. Then Bernie cut right to the chase, he told David that the fund has high profile clients and people are continually asking to be in it. He also was reluctant to reveal detailed information about the fund. After David and Bernie Madoff talked for a couple of hours, David began to have some doubts about investing with Bernie Madoff. In his head, he questioned if everything Bernie Madoff was doing was kosher because he was told he averages a 10.
5% annual return, which seemed way too high compared to many other investment funds similar to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Bernie Madoff told David how his fund made split-strike trades that consisted of buying S&P 500 stocks.
The process of split-strike trades is when the buyer sells a call option above the price of the stock that they previously own and also buys a put option at the price of the stock. A split-strike trade is also referred to as a collar trade; it is meant to limit any swings in price. Now it was time for David to make a decision, whether to invest or not invest. Even though David’s gut was telling him not to he still decided to keep his money invested, due to tot the fact that Bernie was a highly regarded investor. If David would have known what was going to happen to his money he would have never invested it with Bernie Madoff. It was a cold winter morning on December 4th, 2008, David had a feeling that he needed to get his money out of Bernie Madoff’s investment fund, even though he never truly believed that Bernie Madoff was doing everything kosher. He still kept his money with him because it was supposedly increasing by an average of 10.5% every year and that he received an immense amount of detail on every monthly statement that Bernard L.
Madoff Investment Securities LLC. sent out. David called his broker and told him to contact Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. and cash out his account. Once David’s broker got back to him, he sounded like he just found out that one of his parents passed away unexpectedly. He told David “I do not know how to tell you this, but Bernard L.
Madoff Investment Securities LLC. said that they are not able to cash out your account at this time. The moment David heard this, he dropped his phone, and he knew that his money went straight to the heaven. Bernie Madoff was in charge of the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme to date.
He had taken over $50 billion from family, friends, and people who wanted to invest with him. There are many speculations why he was able to get away with it for so long, the main one being despite multiple reports to the SEC about suspicions of a Ponzi scheme, the SEC did nothing about it because people thought he knew exactly what he was doing. The reason why the Ponzi scheme collapsed was that Bernard Madoff’s clients had requested $7 billion in redemptions, and he was not able to up with the cash to fulfill the withdrawals. He also claims that he acted alone, despite multiple people staring that he would not have been physically or mentally capable of doing such an elaborate scheme alone.
Bernie Madoff’s sons turned their dad into the feds the day after he told them he had been defrauding investors for years. Bernie Madoff surrendered to authorities on December 11th, 2008 and was charged with 11 counts of fraud, money laundering, perjury, and theft. After Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty, he is currently serving a 150-year prison term.