If you believe Madoff's "I acted alone" story, I would like to offer you a chance to invest your money with an investment advisor known for consistently providing 1-2% monthly returns in good times and bad. Could he run a $1m ponzi scheme by himself? Yes. Could he run a $50 BILLION ponzi scheme by himself? Not in a million years. Just to manage the money coming and going from the fund, he would have needed people to deal with the wire transfers and/or checks. He would have needed people to print and send to the fictitious investment statements.
When everything is said and done, I predict:
- 20-30 employees at Madoff's firm face criminal charges;
- The accounting firm (apparently one guy) who audited his accounts will go to jail for a LONG time; and
- His banks will face serious questions about allowing the money to flow out of his accounts.
Furthermore, the banks and hedge funds that steered clients into Madoff's clutches will face civil liability for the failures related to "due diligence." Simply appalling.