Archive for the ‘Bernard Madoff’ category

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations in the Spotlight

July 1, 2009

Money Laundering.  When you hear the term as a child, you might imagine wads of cash in a washing machine.  But then you become an adult and you might realise just how important this is in the financial services sector.

If you type Foreign Exchange, overseas mortgages, share dealing or any trade or money transfer type into google, you will get literally hundreds of results for online brokers and services.  They are all involved in the movement of money and currencies  -in the case of the Forex market this is happening at every minute of the day across seas and continents.  So how do you know the money is ‘clean’ (in other words not obtained through criminal acts)?

Well, all financial services must comply with anti-money laundering regulations.  If a company is not compliant with these, do not touch them with a barge pole.  Or at least, find out why or go to the FSA (or main country regulating body) and ask them.

We all want our money to be in safe hands.  An area which is constantly under the spotlight for money laundering is the money transfer area – Western Union and their competition are always having to keep a close eye on clients and transactions.  Make sure you use a legitimiate service.


Sentencing Today for Madoff

June 29, 2009

A few hours to go and Bernard Madoff will know what lies in store for him.  Sentencing for the disgraced former investment manager is due to take place today and the case has certainly been worthy of a finance soap opera…

Over $50 billion is the amount to which Madoff fooled hundreds of private and corporate investors, which range from small-time to Hollywood stars to banks to even charities.  What they all didn’t realise is that the investment scheme in which they put their money (and trust) was in actual fact a Ponzi scheme.  New investors were being paid with funds from existing investors rather than profit.  Apparently nobody noticed until the financial downturn and recession took hold – investors tried to withdraw funds and found there was not enough to cover them.

Madoff set up Bernad L Madoff Securities, his investment company, after a time as head of Nasdaq.  With a career that began at the age of 22, Madoff was a trusted and respected figure on Wall Street.  Many wealthy and high-profile investors placed their money in his hands, but also ‘regular’ families.

Victims and prosecutors are asking for 150 years for the fraudster, his lawyer for 12.  Either way, it looks as though the 71-year-old financier is facing the rest of his life behind bars.

While his was a very unique case, it is always wise to remain pro-active with regards to investment.  Even if a company is well known, make sure you find out as much as you can before investing or hiring a manager.

Bernard Madoff Angers Prosecuters

January 7, 2009

Bernie’s made the authorities angry again.. this time he’s been caught out sending his family and friends expensive gifts.  Apparently he was not aware that sending gifts of jewellry, watches and other luxury goods to loved ones went against his frozen asset ruling. 

Prosecuters have now demanded that he be sent to jail until his trial commences, this despite his lawyer stating he is not a threat to any person and is very unlikely to flee (his passport and that of his wife have already been turned in).  The judge on the case has requested that both parties – pro and con Madoff – submit letters stating their arguments as to why the alledged fraudster should be locked up or not until trial. 

What do you think?  Should the 70-year-old possible fraud mastermind and former head of Nasdaq spend his time behind bars until he goes to court, or should he enjoy what is left of his freedom – if found guilty he faces pretty much the rest of his life in jail.  It does seem slightly surprising that he was not aware his very generous gifts (some reported as being with around $1 million) are in violation of his rights.  After all, he is accused of using his financial prowess and expertise to effectively rinse a large number of banks, investors and even charities of a fortune so high this scandal is seen as worse than Enron….

Answers and comments below please!

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Madoff – Do Fools Rush In When Money Talks?

December 18, 2008

So what are we supposed to think about Bernie Madoff?  I mean clearly there’s some seriously dodgy dealing going on.  Has been for many years – in fact today we hear that watch dogs were given a lead to him a decade a go!  Nothing happened then – why?  And why has it taken so long for anyone to do something about this man’s alledged fraud?  These are questions being asked by analysts and commentators at the moment, but what I want to know is who should we be really focussing on in our moral standpoint?

It’s fair to say that Madoff acted in a way that should be punished if he is found guilty.  Rinsing not just banks but charities for billions of dollars is not a way to a clean conscience.  But what of those people that moved such large amounts of money into his care?  Were they ignoring the signs?  Did they never think this is just too good to be true?  There have been some who have said that it is common for people to get overexcited when things are looking up where their money is concerned.  Madoff ran his dodgy dealings in a very exclusive way so that everyone wanted to be part of his luxurious club and benefit from his expert money handling.  But should they have thought more carefully before handing over their funds?  Was he just the white collar criminal who was playing to people’s need for exclusivity and power?  Did he make them hear what they wanted to hear? 

It’s possible.  But I suppose it is a little unfair to say “I told you so” to someone who’s owed millions and is not likely to get that money back.  Ever.

I will watch with baited breath when the case comes to court.

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