He committed the largest financial fraud in American history and, as Bernie Madoff lives out his remaining years at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, NC, his shocking story is being revisited in the compelling new HBO film The Wizard of Lies. The screenplay was based on the best-selling book of the same name by Diana B. Henriques.
Through an elaborate Ponzi scheme spanning roughly twenty years, Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff conned his trusting investors out of almost $65 billion. Lives were ruined, including those of Madoff's own family. One of his sons (who also worked for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC), Mark, committed suicide by hanging exactly two years after his father's conviction. During a CBS interview in 2011, Madoff's wife, Ruth, said that she and Bernie had attempted suicide with sleeping pills after his scam was exposed in December of 2008. While Bernie remains incarcerated for life, Ruth, who many believe knew more about her husband's criminal acts than she let on, is living in virtual exile in Connecticut.
The Wizard of Lies premieres Saturday, May 20th at 8:00 PM on HBO. Kudos to the casting director. Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer are very convincing as Bernie and Ruth Madoff. Hank Azaria also stars and Barry Levinson (Diner, The Natural, Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man) directed the film. Here's a peek: