The first part of the Bernard Madoff story raised a profound and troubling question about human nature: How could a respected and successful man — a man almost universally described as kind, considerate and apparently trustworthy — knowingly fleece his closest friends, charities he had supported, even his own sister?
But now that Madoff is in jail, and investigators are working their way through reams of documents and interviewing scores of associates, the story is beginning to take on the twists and turns of a good mystery, and it is looking like it is not only Bernie who was not who he appeared to be.
Lucinda Franks is reporting on The Daily Beast that investigators suspect that the late billionaire real estate mogul and philanthropist Norman Levy may have been part of an international web of Madoff accomplices who helped him transfer money into accounts around the world to launder the operations, and perhaps stash some of it away. This revelation may help explain why Ruth Madoff continues to live in such high style, despite legal authorities seizing her assets as fast as they can.
The investigation of Levy is so fascinating because it has the potential to transform Levy from a betrayed dupe into a knowing accomplice — one who invested his girlfriend’s money with Madoff, and thus hung her out to dry. And it raises a grander question: Who else is not what they seem? It’s a question that must have Bernie Madoff, master of deception, chuckling in his cell.