Jennifer Thomas is a bestselling author, psychologist, speaker, consultant & apology critic

Madoff’s Apology: 2 out of 5 stars

Bernard L. Madoff (pronounced like ‘Made-Off’ with the money) was taken to jail today after pleading guilty to running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

A contrite Madoff said he was deeply sorry for the Ponzi scheme, which he said began in the 1990s during an economic downturn. He said he felt “compelled” to get results “at any cost” and began to send out false statements.

“I am actually grateful for this opportunity to publicly comment about my crimes, for which I am deeply sorry and ashamed,” Madoff said. “As the years went by, I realized my risk and this day would inevitably come. I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for my crimes.”

Madoff took full responsibility for what federal officials say was a $65-billion fraud.

Madoff is due to be sentenced on 6/16/09

Dr. Jen’s Analysis:  Madoff’s crime is enormous.  I’ve watched this issue closely, as my husband is an investment advisor (CFA, CFP).  Madoff’s apology is heaviest on expressing emotional regret.  He also managed to avoid shifting the blame.  According to quotes in the media, he has not yet requested forgiveness, made restitution, or taken steps of repentance.  Far from spreading the blame, he seems to be trying to ‘go down alone.’  Will it work?  Only time will tell…

To his many victims, I am so sorry for your losses.  I work for a non-profit agency and I feel extra sadness for the charitable groups who have lost their funds that were designated to provide care for others.


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