INTERVIEW

Madoff Talks Fraud and Danielle Steele

For a guy who has been sentenced to 150 years in prison for a $65 billion Ponzi scheme, you can't really blame him for indulging in some old-fashioned escapism. “I spend most of my time in my room, reading,” Bernie Madoff told Financial Times reporters in a rare prison interview, before adding, “And—this is my secret—Danielle Steele.” In jail, Madoff has found solace in anti-depressants, which he has taken since being sentenced to prison, and steamy romantic novels. When asked why he orchestrated his fraudulent scheme, Madoff says, "You have to understand my history. I started with $500 in capital. I watched my father go bankrupt. I was very driven. But I was always outside the club, the club being the New York Stock Exchange and white shoe firms. They fought me every step of the way.” But he admits this is no excuse for ruining so many ordinary peoples' lives, and says he "took no satisfaction in this." He says his main focus while serving out his prison sentence is to help recover funds for his former clients.