Madoff’s Ponzi scheme lured investors with the mirage of consistently strong returns Madoff presented his clients, and financial regulators, with the outward trappings of respectability and success.
Of course, it was just an illusion based on false promises. The impressive profits weren’t real — Madoff just shifted money from some investors to others in the hopes of fooling people into believing they were reaping the benefits of financial wizardry.
For quite a while, Madoff succeeded in making the illusion work. It took decades before his fraud was brought to light.
In this presidential election, only a few months are left to expose Trump’s con game — and the stakes, of course, are much higher.
Excerpt: The newly revealed tax information covers an earlier period of Mr. Trump’s business career. And The Times did not obtain Mr. Trump’s actual tax returns. But it obtained printouts from his official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, from someone who had legal access to them. They represent the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president’s taxes. And they show that during a tumultuous decade of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse, Mr. Trump’s core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings — ran up $1.17 billion in losses.