Bernie Madoff gave his first long interview about his $65 billion Ponzi scheme since being arrested in December 2008 yesterday. Unfortunately, he gave it to a lawyer — Joseph Cochett of San Francisco, who is preparing a lawsuit on behalf of a group of victims — and thus, the details are scarce. Cochett did give ABC a few tidbits, though. Among them:
• In the Big House, Madoff “looked pretty good — he seems to be working out.” “He’s actually a bit of a celebrity here.” And he’s going low-carb: During the discussions, Bernie ordered a can of tuna and a bottle of water from the vending machine.
• Madoff said that “certain” members of his family knew nothing about the fraud. “He cares about Ruth, but he doesn’t give a (expletive) about his two sons, Mark and Andrew,” the lawyer told ABC.
• Contrary to popular belief, the SEC is a dignified organization impressively committed to due diligence, and Bernie had to be lightning fast and superhuman to evade them. “There were a couple of times I met with the SEC and thought, ‘They got me,’” Madoff told the lawyer. Then, no.
First Madoff Interview [ABC News]