The feds aren't happy about it nor are the folks who lost billions in Madoff's financial scheme, but he is presently sitting in his exclusive $7 million apartment in Manhattan.

I don't know what $7 million buys in Manhattan but I am sure that it is better than the standard jail cell. Madoff and his wife also violated a court order regarding their assets by mailing to relatives a diamond necklace, 13 watches, an emerald ring, two sets of cuff links and a diamond bracelet. Madoff's lawyer argued that he "simply did not realize" that sending personal items would contravene the court order freezing his assets.

Oh, come on. He either thinks; a) everyone is really stupid or b) he is simply above the law. I would take a guess that the correct answer is (B). After all, he has done pretty much what he wanted for years. He was able to fool government agencies, skilled investors and the general public for most of his career.

I have seen this behavior before; with CEO's, business partners and colleagues. They start to believe in their own omnipotence and power. They often confuse their money with other people's money and feel they have a right to do what ever they want.

I previously was co-owner of a large managed care company. The principle share holder hid financial statements, wouldn't disclose his salary, and walked away with most of the assets. He simply viewed the company as "his" in spite of the fact that there were other owners. He did what he wanted regardless of how others felt.

Maddoff has done much the same thing but on a larger scale. Now he wants to continue his lifestyle while his actions have affected many lives and charitable organizations. Personally, I think his new digs should be a small cell. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Barbara Bartlein is a relationship expert. To learn how to build your relationships, please visit: Relationship Tips


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