Madoff 'Staged the Whole Thing': Secretary
With nerves fraying, Ponzi schemer 'chose to get arrested'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2009 11:33 AM CDT
In this image made from video, Bernard Madoff's longtime secretary Eleanor Squillari talks during an interview with the Associated Press, Wednesday, May 6, 2009 in New York.   (AP Photo/APTN)
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(Newser) – Bernie Madoff’s secretary thinks he staged his own arrest. “Bernie was never careless,” Eleanor Squillari writes in Vanity Fair. “He set up exactly how he wanted to go down.” Madoff began acting strangely weeks before the arrest, writing odd things in his appointment book. He’d leave the book lying in his office, something he’d never done before. When the feds arrived, he called to ask if they’d taken the notebook, and she realized it was planted evidence.

Squillari describes a mercurial Madoff, sexist and egomaniacal one moment, generous and kind the next. When the financial crisis led to more redemptions than Madoff could service, she writes, he apparently engineered the arrest to take the fall himself. In the months before, he spent his time exclusively with feeder funds and the man who ran the 17th floor where the Ponzi scheme was managed. “Quite a few people had to have been involved,” she writes.