Dec. 11, 2008: Bernard Madoff is arrested after telling senior employees that his investment company was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme,” and he had “absolutely nothing.” Media reports later identified the employees as his sons, Mark and Andrew.
Dec. 12, 2008: Losses from Madoff’s scheme are estimated to top $50 billion by his own account. Authorities would later put the loss at $20 billion, making it the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history.
Dec. 23, 2008: French investor Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet is found dead after committing suicide after he discovered that he had lost his entire savings, and his clients’ money, to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
March 12, 2009: Bernard Madoff pleads guilty to 11 charges, including fraud, perjury and money laundering. He gets a prison sentence of 150 years. The judge jails him immediately after the plea.
March 17, 2009: Federal prosecutors tell a judge they want to seize jewelry, business interests and more than $30 million from Madoff’s relatives, including loans Madoff made to his sons, Mark and Andrew.
June 29, 2009: Bernard Madoff’s wife, Ruth Madoff, breaks her silence and publicly says she was among the victims of her husband’s deceit. She said he “stunned us all with his confession and is responsible for this terrible situation in which so many now find themselves.”
July 2, 2009: Federal marshals force Ruth Madoff out of the $7 million Manhattan penthouse where she and Bernard Madoff lived.
July 14, 2009: Bernard Madoff arrives at prison in North Carolina to serve his 150-year sentence.
Aug. 3, 2009: Ruth Madoff is ordered to report expenses above $100 to a trustee appointed to locate and liquidate Madoff’s assets to pay back thousands of burned customers.
Oct. 2, 2009: Court-appointed trustee Irving Picard sues Bernard Madoff’s family members in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, claiming they used the family business as a “piggy bank.” Mark Madoff is accused as improperly using $66 million from the business to buy luxury homes in New York City, Nantucket and Connecticut.
Feb. 24, 2010: Mark Madoff’s wife Stephanie files court papers asking change her last name to Morgan from Madoff. She said the change would help her avoid “additional humiliation” and harassment that included threats. Mark filed papers saying he did not object to the move.
Dec. 8, 2010: Court trustee Picard files a lawsuit in London seeking to recover at least $80 million from the international arm of Madoff’s business. Defendants include Mark and Andrew Madoff.
Dec. 10, 2010: Picard files civil racketeering charges against Austrian banker Sonja Kohn and 55 other defendants demanding that they give up nearly $20 billion, and accusing Kohn of accepting at least $62 million in secret kickbacks from Madoff for soliciting investors for the fraud.
Dec. 11, 2010: Mark Madoff is found dead in his New York apartment after apparently hanging himself while his 2-year-old son was sleeping in a nearby room.