Too Good to Be True
It can be a battle to keep up your spirits when you are out of work. These days many people are finding themselves in a state of anxiety as they worry about the loss of their jobs and investments. In fact, it’s hard to turn on the television without hearing another tragic story of everyday people losing their employment, health insurance, pensions, and above all their sense of security. The recent economic downturn has many people trying anything and everything they can to save a buck. With so many devastating personal stories and so much nervousness about the future, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could be cold enough to ignore the plight of their fellow citizens. Yet there is at least one man who chose not only to ignore those less fortunate than him, but to take advantage of their trust and wipe out their life savings for his own selfish gain.
In his multimillion-dollar Upper East Side penthouse apartment, wearing a blue bathrobe and slippers, Bernard Madoff paced back and forth before opening the front door to two FBI agents. “We’re here to find out if there’s an innocent explanation,” stated Special Agent Theodore Cacioppi. “There is no innocent explanation,” replied Madoff. One of the biggest conmen in recent history had just been caught, and soon he would become a household name. Countless investors would be told that they had lost thousands, or even millions, of dollars. How did this happen? How did a young boy from Queens cheat his way to the top of Wall Street? More importantly, how did he get away with it for so long?
Bernie Madoff’s life started like many others. He was born Bernard Lawrence Madoff in 1938, and raised in a Jewish neighborhood in Queens, New York. He attended Rockaway High School, where he met and later married Ruth Alpern, his high school sweetheart. They went on to start a family and had two sons, Mark and Andrew. Madoff, who was both intelligent and resourceful, grew to become a very accomplished man. After...