(NEW YORK) -- Convicted Ponzi scheme swindler Bernard Madoff says some banks and hedge funds he dealt with had to have known he was up to no good, but chose to look the other way as the former money manager swindled billions from unsuspecting clients.
In his first jailhouse interview since being sent to the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina for 150 years, Madoff contends that unnamed financial institutions showed a “willful blindness” to his crimes and were therefore “complicit.”
According to Madoff, the attitude of banks and hedge funds was “if you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.”
In correspondence with The New York Times, Madoff said he was surprised by the number of people who are now saying they suspected him of wrongdoing before he came clean to authorities in December of 2008.
On other matters, Madoff exonerated New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and his business partner, Saul Katz, who are being sued by a trustee assigned to recover money for Madoff’s thousands of victims.
While Irving Picard claims that Wilpon and Katz profited from Madoff’s scam, the 72-year-old convict insisted, “They knew nothing.” Picard is suing the men for $1 billion.
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