While the government was busy auditing small businesses, a Wall Street investor managed to swindle $50 billion from oblivious high-profile clients. You read that right — $50 billion. Bernard Madoff, who started his firm in 1960 with $5,000, served before as NASDAQ chief, and is considered a "pioneer of Wall Street," was arrested yesterday on charges that he orchestrated one of the largest frauds ever.
Earlier this week Madoff allegedly told his employees that the company was just "one big lie" and "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme." Madoff is out on $10 million bail, and if he's convicted he could face 20 years in jail and a $5 million fine.
Since Madoff and his company had a sterling reputation on Wall Street before his apparent fraud came to light, maybe the government needs to be a little more cautious about who it bails out!