Did Madoff's biggest 'victims' get 950 percent returns?


Last December when Bernie Madoff gave up on his $64.8 billion Ponzi scheme, I guessed that he had help. He could not have produced the fake statements on all those accounts by himself. But in a twist that I had not thought of back then, a lawsuit now alleges that Madoff's biggest clients were in on the scheme. That's especially surprising, given that some of the names mentioned have been touted as Madoff's biggest losers.

Here's how the lawsuit suggests that Madoff's clients helped him with his scheme: The clients told Madoff how much of a return they wanted in a given year. Madoff would manufacture the fake account statements needed to generate those returns -- word of which would reach hundreds of other investors who would then clamor to give their money to Madoff, who in turn would forward that new money to his prized clients so they would, indeed, get those high returns.