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Madoff with the Money

ISBN: 978-0-470-50498-7
280 pages
August 2009
Madoff with the Money (0470504986) cover image


An intriguing look at Bernie Madoff the man, and his scam

Madoff with the Money is a deeply disturbing portrait of Bernie Madoff based on dozens of exclusive, news-making interviews. From the values Madoff was taught growing up in the working class town of Laurelton, Queens to his high-life on Wall Street and the super-rich enclaves of Palm Beach and the French Riviera, bestselling author Jerry Oppenheimer follows the disgraced money manager's trail as he works his way up the social and economic ladder, and eventually scams his trusting clients in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Through Oppenheimer's in-depth reporting, you'll discover new revelations in this startling case, and become familiar with the trusting victims-ranging from non-profit Jewish charities to the likes of seemingly sophisticated individuals such as actress Jane Fonda who would "like to shake Madoff until his teeth fall out," the scion of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire who lost a bundle and was forced to rent out rooms in his house, and New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. There's even Madoff's own sister-in-law and talk show host Larry King, who apparently didn't ask the right questions when he invested. All lost their much-needed life savings, while others saw fortunes small and large evaporate in the greedy financial operations of one of history's all-time charlatans.

Madoff With the Money

  • Delves into the details of the illusive man that lost investors billions
  • Weaves stories of Madoff's past with those of the present in an engaging and accessible style
  • Explores how the financial scam that Madoff ran cost individuals and institutions billions of dollars
  • Other titles by Oppenheimer: Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel, and Just Desserts: Martha Stewart the Unauthorized Biography

While there may be other books on the Bernie Madoff debacle, none digs as deep or goes as far to uncover the truth behind the man, and his incredible scam.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Beginning of the End.

Chapter 2 Growing Up a Madoff.

Chapter 3 Bernie Hobnobs with the Wealthy, Strong-Arms Some Pals, and Courts “Josie College”.

Chapter 4 From Queens to Alabama, Scamming Homeowners and Hustling Stock.

Chapter 5 Tying the Knot and Giving Uncle Sam the Business.

Chapter 6 A Borscht Belt Summer Camp Sets the Stage for Bernie’s Ponzi Scheme.

Chapter 7 Moving On Up.

Chapter 8 The Bagel Baker Becomes a Financial Guru, and the Mob Boys from Rockford Pay a Visit.

Chapter 9 “Whatever You Do, Kid, Never Invest a Penny in the Stock Market, Because It’s Run by Crooks and Sons of Bitches”.

Chapter 10 A Madoff Speaks Out and an Empty Promise.

Chapter 11 Mr. Outside versus Mr. Inside versus the SEC.

Chapter 12 Life inside the Madoff Piggy Bank, Flashing the Plastic, and Losing the Farm.

Chapter 13 A Family (and Sometimes an Offi ce) Affair.

Chapter 14 Another Arrest, and Blood Relatives Get Taken to the Cleaners.


Author’s Note on Sources.



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Author Information

Jerry Oppenheimer has written eight biographies of major American icons, from Martha Stewart and Barbara Walters to the Clintons and Kennedys, and has worked in all facets of journalism, from national investigative reporting in Washington, D.C., to producing TV news and documentaries. He's quoted in magazines such as Vanity Fair and is a frequent guest on national TV interview and syndicated magazine shows, including Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Anderson Cooper 360?, Nancy Grace, BBC News, Fox News, and more. He is also the author of the Wiley title Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel.

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Press Release

February 09, 2010


By Jerry Oppenheimer


“Jerry Oppenheimer’s new biography of Bernie Madoff traces the roots of his deceit and his odd compulsions back to a Queens childhood steeped in hustles and scams. The Ponzi King moved on to adult obsessions, from not letting family members sit on the furniture to alleged affairs with "baby Ruths" in his office, younger versions of his own wife.” The Daily Beast, August 3, 2009


How could someone described as a “stand-up” guy and a “generous boss” who engendered trust through his motto, “the owner’s name is on the door,” mastermind one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history?  Bernie Madoff had an unremarkable past and, by all accounts, limited ability. So, what strange convergence of personality and circumstance created the most vilified and despised crook ever, who cheated thousands of people out of billions without blinking an eye? The questions, the media speculation and the global fascination with Bernie Madoff grow exponentially each day.   A new book by New York Times bestselling author Jerry Oppenheimer, reveals the true story of the man behind the scam in MADOFF WITH THE MONEY (Wiley; August 2009; $24.95, Hardcover; 978-0-470-50498-7).


Oppenheimer, known for digging deep to find the real answers in the lives of American icons –Martha Stewart, Bill and Hillary Clinton to name a few, exposes Madoff, the con man with original reporting and dozens of exclusive interviews and revelations.

Through his in-depth reporting, readers will become familiar with the trusting victims, ranging from relatives, employees, non-profit Jewish charities to the likes of seemingly sophisticated individuals such as actress Jane Fonda who would "like to shake Madoff until his teeth fall out," Kevin Bacon who only lost part of his money, and New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg.


Other exclusive disclosures in Madoff with the Money include:

  • How Madoff is part of a family tradition of spurious trading practices.  Both his mother and father had run-ins with the SEC when Bernie was just a boy
  • That he was an obsessive-compulsive who could be found cleaning his offices at all hours of the day
  • How he robbed Uncle Sam out of two years of Vietnam War-era Army Reserve active duty by developing a case of ‘nervous from the service,” and ulcer
  • How he treated his attorney brother like an office boy
  • That he was a serial Casanova caught by his wife Ruth and allegedly had to pay out “hush money” to at least one female employee.
  • That one of his early Wall Street mentors reputedly had close ties to the Chicago Mob – “the genesis of Bernie’s career.”


Ruth Madoff’s father was the source of many of Bernie’s early investors and Ruth, a math wiz, was a key employee in the early days of the firm. Ruth kept the books; Bernie didn’t know numbers.  In later years, Ruth was a big spender who kept a tight leash on her childhood sweetheart because of his philandering. Together, Oppenheimer says, she and Bernie are the most controversial couple since Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and as infamous as Bonnie and Clyde.


Oppenheimer dedicates this book to the legitimate victims of Bernie Madoff and his scheme.  Readers can judge for themselves the breadth and scope of the swindle, and appreciate the rancor of its victims.

“Madoff with the Money”

By Jerry Oppenheimer

Wiley; $24.95; Hardcover; ISBN 978-0-470-50498-7

August 2009


For more information about all of Wiley’s titles, please visit our newsroom at www.wileyptnews.com

You can also keep up with the latest articles, appearances and ideas

from our business authors by following us on Twitter @WileyBiz 

Jerry Oppenheimer

Author Bio



Jerry Oppenheimer is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing definitive biographies of American icons for more than twenty years. According to USA Today, “Jerry Oppenheimer’s bibliography reads like a Who’s Who of powerful sometimes vilified women. Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters and Paris Hilton have all starred in his celebrity biographies.”


His previous book, Toy Monster: The Big Bad World of Mattel, is about another female icon, ‘Barbie,’ and the man behind Mattel, Jack Ryan. The book received wide acclaim in the national media including USA Today, Newsweek, People Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune among others.


Previous books by Oppenheimer delve into the lives of many prominent figures – both men and women – including Front Row: Anna Wintour, Seinfeld: The Making of An American Icon, State of the Union: Inside the Complex Marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Just Desserts: Martha Stewart, The Other Mrs. Kennedy: An Intimate and Revealing Look at the Hidden Life of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, Barbara Walters: An Unauthorized Biography, Idol Rock Hudson, and House of Hilton: From Conrad to Paris.


In addition to being a biographer he has also worked in all facets of journalism, from national investigative reporting in Washington, D.C., to producing television news and documentaries. He is a frequent guest on national TV and syndicated magazine shows, including ABC’s “Good Morning America”, CBS News “The Early Show”, “Entertainment Tonight”, “Extra”, “Anderson Cooper 360”, “Nancy Grace” and more.


His most recent book is titled Madoff With The Money, a biography about “the man behind the scam,” Bernard Madoff.  It is being published by Wiley in August 2009.



Praise for books by Jerry Oppenheimer:


The cleverness of Oppenheimer’s book is that it manages to make a compelling

antihero out of such a loathsome creature.”

 -- Newsweek


“….this juicy expose shows that life inside this 64 year old company was

hardly always fun and games.”     

 --People Magazine


“Mr. Oppenheimer unpacks a trove of colorful details...”    

--Wall Street Journal


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