The Madoff Affair
Premiering: Sunday June 14 & Monday June 29, 2009 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC News Network
How did Bernard Madoff sustain his global Ponzi scheme for so many years? Find out when the Passionate Eye presents The Madoff Affair, just prior to his June 29th sentencing.
On Dec. 11, 2008, Bernard L. Madoff confessed that his investment was all "one big lie," a Ponzi scheme colossal in volume and scope that cost investors $65 billion (U.S). Overnight, Madoff became the new poster child for Wall Street gall, greed and corruption. The Madoff Affair unearths the details of the world's first global Ponzi scheme—a deception that lasted longer, reached wider and cut deeper than any other business scandal in history.
To reveal the layers of deception, correspondent Martin Smith interviews the people closest to Madoff's operation, tracing the story back to the 1960s, when Madoff opened a small investment advisory business and hired two accountants to help him recruit clients. In an exclusive interview, Michael Bienes, one of the accountants, describes those early years working with Madoff as "easy, easy-peasy, like a money machine." Madoff was investigated repeatedly by the SEC, but nothing was found amiss. It wasn't until the financial world markets collapsed in 2008 that he was exposed. With the failing economy people needed their money out, and his clients were unable to get it from him.
The Madoff Affair was written and produced by Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith. It is a FRONTLINE co-production with Rainmedia, Inc.