Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Bernie enjoying the life of a cushy white-collar prisoner?

Mark Morze was the ZZZZ Best fraud perpetrator who could play the copy machine like Horowitz played the piano. He created about 10,000 fictitious documents to support Barry Minkow's fraudulent carpet cleaning and restoration business. Morze ended up serving five years in federal prison. I once read an article documenting his experience of prison life. Here is a quote:

With a five-year sentence to serve, Morze expected an early parole from a plush, white-collar prison/resort complete with golf course and tennis courts, a la Erlichman and Haldemann of the Watergate scandal. But reality didn't jibe with expectation. He got five long years of sleepless nights, living in fear of routine prison stabbings, rapes, and assaults at Lompoc prison, Lompoc, Calif.

"Gangs control everything," Morze said. "Guards don't run prisons, the inmates run them. The guards just keep you from escaping."

An article in today's WSJ suggests that Bernie Madoff is having a similar prison experience. Here is an excerpt:
Mr. Madoff was treated for a broken nose, fractured ribs and cuts to his head and face, according to a felon currently at Butner serving time on drug charges who was familiar with his condition at the time. ... Another inmate who recently was released from Butner after serving time on drug charges also confirmed the assault, as did a third person familiar with Mr. Madoff's situation. The former inmate said the dispute centered on money the assailant thought he was owed by Mr. Madoff.
It's tragic that fraud perpetrators have to learn critical lessons of life the hard way all the while leaving a wake of suffering victims behind them as they eventually enter a life of misery themselves. Fraud may pay in the short run but it never pays in the long run!

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