Bernie Madoff is one of the most hated individuals in the history of the United States. He is so hated because of a crime that cost countless others their entire lives. Now, in the new documentary, “Chasing Madoff” audiences see exactly the devastation that Madoff brought not only on single individuals and families, but also potentially on the entire economic system of the United States. And all it took to reveal this was one single person.
Harry Markopolous tells his story in this stunning work, of how he came to discover the massive financial fraud being covered by Madoff. It all began a decade before Madoff was eventually arrested at 8:30 in the morning on December 11, 2008. In the course of his story, Markopolous tells viewers how scared he was to really delve into the case and bring it to light. He explains that another whistleblower had been beaten and left for dead because of that person’s attempt to uncover wrongdoings. That alone puts this real life story up there with some of the best legal thrillers by the likes of author John Grisham. Viewers also see how Madoff actually covered up his crime for so long before finally being caught. That too, made this such an enthralling work, as it makes one wonder how he got away with it for so long. That leads to another eye opening aspect of the documentary.
What’s really eye opening in this documentary isn’t so much the massive extent of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. But that as a result of its discovery, members of the SEC and the federal government started pointing fingers at each other, sniping at one another like a bunch of children. Seeing this behavior in the context of the Madoff case serves to prove exactly why Americans are so fed up with Wall Street and the people charged with monitoring its behaviors. While it is a documentary, it’s not exactly presented in the standard mold of a documentary. Through interviews with those who lost their money thanks to Madoff, and the people sniffing out Madoff’s trail, those who are really interested in this massive financial fraud scheme will really find themselves enthralled by the whole presentation.
“Chasing Madoff” is one of the most gripping real life dramas in modern history. It’s the kind of stuff that simply cannot be made up, to use a phrase. But it’s definitely the stuff that can be made into stories. It’s also a perfect documentary for college level finance and business classes. It serves as a reminder of everything that can happen as a result of one person’s misdeeds. Most of all (bad joke here), it serves as a reminder that for criminals on any level, crime simply doesn’t pay. Anyone who followed the madoff case remembers that as a result of his crimes, he will likely die in prison, having been sentenced to nearly two hundred years in prison for his crimes. The sad reality of all of this is that while Madoff may never see the light of day again outside prisn walls, those who lost everything will likely never regain their sense of trust among so much more. All of this in mind, Chasing Madoff is one of those documentaries that will alsways have a niche audience. But it will most definitely never be forgotten.