Amazing — Madoff Gets Even More Unsympathetic

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Friedman and Raju, chin buddies. Photo: Getty Images

Like we needed more proof that Bernie Madoff was a creep. Today's news ensures that whoever has to write the script for the inevitable movie about him is going to have a hell of a time, since every day the real dude shapes up to be about as sympathetic as Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate crossed with the Javier Bardem character in No Country for Old Men. First off, we find out that the jewelry Madoff mailed to family members for, his lawyer had previously explained, "purely sentimental reasons" was actually worth around a million dollars, which makes him seem like an asset-hoarder/incorrigible criminal as well as a narcissist. (Beyond the $200 mittens, the box contained Cartier watches, a diamond necklace, and an emerald ring, according to the Journal.) To keep him out of jail, his lawyer suggested that they impose tighter bail restrictions, such as putting a custodian in charge of Madoff's assets and having someone monitor his outgoing mail. Which raises a number of questions, such as: Why weren't they doing that in the first place? And then there's the other question: Who puts a million dollars' worth of jewelry in the mail? Grandmas aren’t even supposed to send $20 bills anymore.

Not that anyone's grandma can afford to send anyone cash, because it seems like a large percentage of the world's grandmas kept their savings with Bernie Madoff. Today the Times introduces us to Tom Liccardi, 86, and his wife, who have to move out of their assisted-living facility to God knows where since they had every penny invested with Madoff. Their story is heartbreaking despite the fact that Liccardi, an accountant, invested all his money with Madoff even though he initially suspected something was wrong with the returns. He might have been able to live in his fantasy world a little bit longer had Madoff been able to stave off the firm's crash with the $250 million he borrowed just days before his arrest, but it's probably best that it happened this way, because at least now the bureaucratic ball can get rolling. How much can investors like Liccardi get back? About twenty cents on the dollar.

Madoff Is a 'Danger,' Argue Prosecutors [WSJ]
Madoff May Accept Tougher Restrictions to Stay Out of Jail [Bloomberg]
Aged Madoff Investors Wonder About the Rest of Their Days [NYT]
How Much Could Madoff Victims Recover? (Analysis) [Clusterstock]