ABC is taking on one of the most well-known Ponzi schemes, ever, with Madoff . Bernie Madoff, the series' subject, went down in history as an operator of one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history until his arrest in 2008 and eventual conviction on 11 counts of fraud, according to Business Insider. Now, ABC is bringing those crimes to life with a two-night miniseries diving into the mind of the man who led the scam. So, viewers might wonder if Madoff is an accurate representation of the notorious crimes, or if things are dramatized for entertainment reasons. Bustle reached out to ABC about the accuracy of the series, and a spokesperson responded with this statement:
The only person who definitively knows what really happened is sitting in prison in North Carolina — Bernie Madoff himself. Madoff is a scripted piece of fiction based on truth inspired by reporting on the crime and on ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross’ book, The Madoff Chronicles.
And, Ross actually reported on the case when it broke. With that in mind, The New York Times's Joe Nocera wrote that while the show is "supposedly" based on the book by Ross, "the mini-series tells its story far more lucidly than Mr. Ross’ scattershot book." Bustle reached out to Ross for comment but has not yet received a reply.
Nocera also claimed in The New York Times that "journalists struggled to understand Mr. Madoff’s psyche, not to mention whether his family had known what he was doing, and how he had pulled it off." Bustle reached out to both Bernie Madoff and wife Ruth's lawyers for comment. Ruth's lawyer has not yet responded, and Bernie's 2009 lawyer said that he no longer represents Bernie, so he cannot speak for him, and he does not believe Bernie currently has counsel.
However, while Ross' book might have been a relatively accurate portrayal of the factual, business side of the scheme, the private moments we see between the characters on screen should always be taken with a grain of salt.
Images: Giovanni Rufino/ABC (2)