He was born in Queens and moved to Manhattan to make his fortune.
He got up in the morning and started telling lies and didn’t stop until he went to bed at night.
The scam he ran was based on telling everybody he was doing one thing, when behind the scenes he was doing another.
He had spoiled-brat kids who’ve never done anything but work for their daddy – who live in high-rise condos in New York- go out to the best restaurants – vacation in the south of France and spend their daddy-gotten millions.
Nope – Bernie Madoff.
Trump and Madoff are lying thieving soulless luxo-thugs for whom chasing the almighty dollar and lying practically every minute of every day was their reason for being.
They even got involved in their scams the same way: Almost by accident.
Madoff attracted his investors in a unique way – by guaranteeing them a return on their investments.
When Madoff’s investments of his clients’ funds failed to make the profits he was promising them he stopped investing his funds in the market and started paying a few investors’ profits from new money he brought into his fund with big promises – big dreams and big lies.
Madoff was the best investor anyone had ever seen.
You could give him your money and sit back and not worry about a thing.
Bernie would take care of everything.
It was a classic Ponzi scheme.
When Madoff’s scam blew up in 2008 he told prosecutors and interviewers he couldn’t remember exactly when it began.
‘It kind of happened by accident’ he told one interviewer.
Consider Donald Trump.
Trump began at his father’s real estate firm in Queens – building apartment buildings and renting out apartments.
The business produced enough money to make his father a very rich man.
But that wasn’t enough for Trump.
He took an initial loan from his father and his connections to investors who wanted to put their money in real estate and moved to Manhattan.
Trump began slapping his name on buildings all over Manhattan.
But putting up buildings and selling condos and collecting rents wasn’t enough for Trump so he branched out into casinos in Atlantic City – an airline – a phony college called ‘Trump University’ and everything from frozen steaks to Trump vodka and bottled water.
When his casinos went belly-up Trump vodka took a powder – Trump steaks sat in their freezers and his investments in buildings like the Plaza Hotel failed to make money – Trump turned to the banks.
‘I’m the king of debt!’ he told one interviewer as his fortunes soared and fell.
When one too many bankruptcies drove away the banks he started unloading condos to Russian oligarchs – who paid in cash – and plastering the Trump on hotels and condo developments in places like Azerbaijan and Panama.
Nobody could tell how much money he was worth so he lied.
Six billion – 10 billion – the Forbes list of the richest Americans.
He just kept lying.