Swindled! Whistleblower Reveals How Bernie Madoff Built His Evil Ponzi Scheme

Apr. 24 2017, Updated 10:10 a.m. ET

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Financial fraudster Bernie Madoff was nabbed for turning his investment planning business into a huge Ponzi scheme and swindling thousands of victims.

Madoff is in prison but now, the latest episode of Exposed with Deborah Norville on Reelz, called Madoff With All The Money, shows a whistleblower telling how he pulled off the con on those who entrusted him with their money.

Norville interviewed financial analyst and whistleblower Harry Markopolos, who said he investigated Madoff: "I was hearing about this guy with 12 percent returns, year after year. For decades! His returns were too good to be true."

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But Markopolos noted that Madoff was able to trick even investors who tried to test him.

He said, "They'd pull the money out. But as soon as Bernie wrote them a check they put it right back in. In fact, many people put more money in."

Norville mentioned that when Madoff was asked about his trading strategy, the wily investment advisor had a ready answer, "The response was always, 'It's proprietary. I can't share it.' "

Markopolos confirmed that Madoff told them he couldn't "tell you how the secret sauce is made. It's a black box. 'I'd like to tell you, but then the world would know and the returns would disappear. You have to believe in the magic box.'

"Investors thought they were getting 12 percent with almost no down side and that was very attractive to investors who wanted to play it safe but also be smart," the whistleblower told Norville on Reelz.

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Markopolos said Madoff's victims included "From Mom and Pop investors to famous Hollywood celebrities, to endowments, to charities. If you had money, he needed it."

Such big names as Steven Spielberg and John Malkovich were reportedly scammed by Madoff.

And as Radar has reported, actor Kevin Bacon allegedly lost his life savings to Madoff at the time.

Former Wall Street giant Madoff's scheme was uncovered in 2008 after 6,000 investors had lost an estimated $64 billion to him. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed. He had pleaded guilty.

Madoff is now 78 years old and incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina.

In 2009, it was reported that the aging fraudster was badly beaten in prison.

Madoff's son Mark committed suicide in 2010, on the second anniversary of his father's arrest and Madoff's son Andrew died of cancer.

For more on Madoff's life of fraud, watch Exposed with Deborah Norville: Madoff With All The Money, Wednesday April 26, 9ET / 8PT.

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