Bernard Madoff, who ran one of the biggest Wall Street frauds in history, says that many of his former colleagues in the financial industry are also crooks.
In a prison interview with Fox Business Network published Thursday, the Ponzi scheme mastermind claimed that insider trading “goes on at every major firm’s Prop Desk and at every level of the industry in plain sight.”
“It is unfortunate, to say the least, that the financial services industry is so corrupt and stacked against the typical investor,” he told Fox in an email.
One of Wall Street’s most notorious criminals, Madoff used his powers of persuasion to trick thousands of clients over decades to invest with him.
He stole from fresh deposits to create fake profits for existing clients, providing high and steady returns that seemingly made him one of the industry’s top performers.
The Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008 and after Madoff pleaded guilty the following year, he was given a prison sentence of 150 years.
In the Fox interview, he claims that his scheme could not have worked if clients hadn’t willfully ignored warning signs that he was not running a legitimate investment business.
Madoff says he was “trapped into the greed of others” and says clients thought he must be trading illegally by “front running,” or illegally trading ahead of customers.
Madoff was an accomplished liar and prison does not seem to have ended that habit. In another part of the Fox interview, he says that the renowned Harvard Business School has asked him to create a course “around my experiences building my market making.”
Harvard told Fox it was not working with Madoff “on anything.”