Madoff: I Wish I Hadn't Pleaded Guilty

Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 02:25 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Bernie Madoff has sent a CNBC reporter several notes from his jail cell. Speaking on air Thursday, Scott Cohn said he received half a dozen emails from the convicted embezzler, including one in which Madoff expressed regret at pleading guilty.

“It is very clear that Bernie Madoff is angry,” said Cohn. “This follows our exclusive interview with Irving Picard, the trustee rounding up Madoff’s assets for investors. Picard told us Madoff has been no help. That set Bernie off in a big way.”

Cohn revealed that he has been in touch with Madoff for some time but that most of the correspondence has been off the record. “But Picard’s comments unleashed a tirade, he’s telling me he now wishes he had not pleaded guilty to the epic Ponzi scheme as he did in 2009 because he says Picard is distorting the truth,” said Cohn.

Madoff wrote, “’I wish I went to trial and he would have been required to provide the evidence he claims he has,” said Cohn. “He goes on, ‘As remorseful as I am for the pain and suffering I have shamefully caused, I take some comfort in the fact that, with my assistance, all of my customers will recover their original investment principal.’”

Cohn said, “Madoff is proud of the role he claims he played in the biggest chunks of money recovered, $7.2 billion from mega investor Jeffry Picower, who died shortly after the fraud came to light. His widow turned over the money. ‘When I spoke to Picower prior to his death,’ Madoff writes, ‘I made it very clear I would testify about the role of him and his accountants, attorney, and assistant to name a few.’"

Cohn continued, “Of Picard, he said, ‘I can certainly understand his reasons for not acknowledging my role because how could he justify his fees otherwise? Picard has billed more than $600 million for his work.’”

“As Picard told us this week,” added Cohn, “Madoff likes to feel like he’s in control of the situation, and that’s what he’s doing even as he serves the rest of his life in prison.”

Madoff, now 74, was jailed for 150 years in 2009 after he pleaded guilty to defrauding thousands of investors of some $18 billion. He is currently serving his time in the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C.




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