Bernie Madofff Tragic Hero

Topics: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ponzi scheme, Bernard Madoff Pages: 2 (484 words) Published: February 16, 2012
A tragic hero is a character of noble stature that commits an action or makes a mistake which eventually leads to his or her downfall. The idea of the tragic hero was created in ancient Greek tragedy and defined by Aristotle. Bernard Madoff, a former American businessman, stockbroker, investment advisor, and financier, fits the definition of a modern day tragic hero. Bernard Madoff grew up in New York City and studied law at Brooklyn Law School, but quit the first year to embark on his own investment firm. Using money he had saved from previous life guarding jobs, Madoff and his wife founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC. The company grew a reputation for its annual returns of 10 percent or more and, by the 1980s, his firm was one of the largest firms trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Madoff created an impressive client list including stars such as Steven Spielberg, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick. Madoff owned a yacht, several luxurious homes, and even had two private planes. He was completely living the wealthy and lavish lifestyle, which was soon to come to an abrupt end. In December of 2008, Madoff admitted that a branch of his firm was actually an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Madoff's sons reported their father to federal authorities and he was arrested and charged with securities fraud. He later admitted to losing $50 billion of investors' money, and pled guilty to 11 felony counts including securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, false statements, perjury, false filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and theft from an employee benefit plan. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison on June 29, 2009, the maximum possible prison sentence. Bernard Madoff destroyed the lives of many in his relentless drive to get rich. Two years to the day that Bernard Madoff was arrested, one of his sons, Mark Madoff, committed suicide. Bernard Madoff can be compared...
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