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The Wizard of Lies

In this nonfiction book, Diana B. Henriques examines how Bernie Madoff pulled off one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history.

Diana B. Henriques

Who is Bernie Madoff, and how did he pull off the biggest Ponzi scheme in history?

This question has fascinated people ever since the news broke about the New York financier who swindled his friends, relatives and other investors out of $65 billion. And in The Wizard of Lies, Diana B. Henriques of The New York Times has written the definitive book on the man and his scheme, drawing on unprecedented access and more than 100 interviews, including Bernie Madoff's first interviews for publication since his arrest. Henriques also provides vivid details from the lawsuits and government investigations that explode the myths that have come to surround the story, and in a revised and expanded epilogue she unravels the latest legal developments.

A true-life financial thriller, The Wizard of Lies contrasts Madoff's remarkable rise on Wall Street with dramatic scenes from his accelerating slide toward self-destruction. It is also the most complete account of the heartbreaking personal disasters and landmark legal battles triggered by Madoff's downfall — the suicides, business failures, fractured families, shuttered charities — and the clear lessons this timeless scandal offers to Washington, Wall Street and Main Street. (From St. Martin's Press)

The Wizard of Lies was adapted into a film for HBO TV and received four Emmy nominations, including an outstanding television movie nomination, outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie nomination for Robert De Niro and outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie nomination for Michelle Pfeiffer.

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From the book

He is ready to stop now, ready to just let his vast fraud tumble down around him.

Despite his confident posturing and his apparent imperviousness to the increasing market turmoil, his investors are deserting him. The Spanish banking executives who visited him on Thanksgiving Day still want to withdraw their money. So do the Italians running the Kingate funds in London, and the managers of the fund in Gibraltar and the Dutch-run fund in the Caymans, and even Sonja Kohn in Vienna, one of his biggest boosters. That's more than $1.5 billion right there, from just a handful of feeder funds. Then there's the continued hemorrhaging at Fairfield Greenwich Grouop — $980 million through November and now another $580 million for December.

If he writes a check for the December redemptions, it will bounce.


From The Wizard of Lies by Diana B. Henriques ©2012. Published by St. Martin's Press.

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