The Jekyll and Hyde of Wall Street, Madoff has become the poster boy for the greed, arrogance, and duplicity behind the financial crisis. For decades he built fortunes, on paper, for an exclusive circle of admiring clients and friends who saw him as an honest, hardworking family man and philanthropist. Little did they understand that this compassionate “regular guy” was also an egotistical charlatan willing to stop at nothing to promote himself and increase his personal wealth.
Madoff’s hollow empire imploded on December 11, 2008, when the 70-year-old titan was arrested and charged with 70 counts of fraud and money laundering amounting to almost $70 billion. While thousands of his investors lost money, the severity of the damage is yet to be completely assessed, for those personal losses are compounded by Madoff’s influence over the U.S. economy, government institutions, and charitable religious organizations.
In this shocking and illuminating biography, Andrew Kirtzman interviews numerous people from every facet of Madoff’s life to tell the complete story and answer many troubling questions that remain, including: Who is Bernie Madoff? Why did he do it? What were the demons that led his descent into unfathomable immorality? How did he convince so many people to believe in his scheme that to others seemed transparently corrupt? And why did the government ignore so many warnings of his crime?
A compelling tale of money and celebrity, corruption and excess, Betrayal is a cautionary tale for us all.