Disgraced investor Bernard Madoff remains free on bail after a judge rejected an attempt by prosecutors revoke his bail for mailing more than one-million dollars in jewels to family and friends.
While Madoff remains in his 7-million dollar penthouse, Kevin Vandenbroek conducted this exclusive interview with Madoff as he remained under house arrest.
KV: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Mr. Madoff ...
BM: Call me Bern
KV: Thank you for agreeing to this interview. As people read more-and-more about your financial dealings with investors, what would you say to them about the allegations leveled against you?
BM: You mean the Rod Blagojevich thing?
KV: The what?
BM: Did I just say that out loud? Nothing. Oy. I'm so oysgeshpilt.
KV: Do you have anything you'd like to say to investors who have allegedly lost upwards of 50-billion dollars in your so-called Ponzi scheme?
BM: Ponzi? What? Was it that much? No ... I got a program that ...
KV: Reports are that it was around 50-billion dollars.
KV: Mr. Mad ...
BM: Bern ...
KV: Mr. Madoff, do you know how much money you allegedly swindled from investors that trusted you?
BM: Swindled, what!? I use QuickBooks.
KV: Reports are that investors have been supposedly cheated out of 50-billion dollars, U.S.
BM: ... and on that program, it comes out to about 30 bucks. You know, it wasn't a - what did you call it - a PONZI SCHEME. It was a cash-money deal. I'd talk to some of my friends. I'd say I was going to Vegas. If they wanted me to play a little Gai Pow Poker or slots while I was at the Sahara, give me a fin and I'll do my best.
KV: So, investors trusted that you'd bet for them in the casinos ...
BM: Yeah, well, you know. It's sorta like the old days. "Give me ten bucks for the pot and I'll be right back." Heh, heh ... 'ever do that?
KV: But you'd never return.
BM: Are you kidding? I'd always return. They trusted me. And they had money.
KV: You'd come back with your investor's winnings?
BM: What winnings? You think I'm Kreskin?
KV: You'd come back and tell them that ...
BM: ... I wasn't lucky at the tables, alright? What's to understand? I'm going to Vegas. They give me money to bet at the tables or whatever. I lose. I didn't charge them for my room or the buffet. I always came back, too. They have money. And they gave me a few bucks. It was all on the up-and-up. I was their designated gambler. You wanna blame somebody, blame the casinos. That's where I lost the money.
KV: Didn't your clients think you were investing in the market?
BM: What market? The Piggly Wiggly? Let me put this another way. I know a bunch of people with money. They were busy. They couldn't even take the time to go to Atlantic City. So, I says to them, "Hey, I'm going to Vegas this weekend. You need for me to gamble a little for you?" And they says, "Yeah, sure, Bern. Here's a fiver, put it down on red at 8:57 PM on Saturday night." I did that kind of thing. They lost. Sorry.
KV: Fifty-billion ...
BM: Let me stop you right there. Who do you think I am, Charles Barkley? I told you, QuickBooks says it's about 30-bucks. Look, this little show is over. I don't know from Ponzi schemes. I thought you were here to talk about Blagojevich.
KV: What about Blagojevich?
BM: Well, before all of this mashugana, Rod calls me and wants me to go to Reno.
KV: Did he say why he wanted you to go to Reno?
BM: Well, that's going to cost you another grand. Five C's for me, five C's for Rod.