Bernie Madoff Net Worth: Bernie Madoff is an American former businessman and former stockbroker, investment advisor and financier who has a net worth of -$17 billion. Bernard Lawrence Madoff (aka Bernie Madoff) was born April 29, 1938 in Queens, New York City, New York. He is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market and the admitted operator of a Ponzi scheme that is considered the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. The shocking revelation that Madoff's hedge fund, Ascot Partners, was a giant scam rocked the world and impacted stocks overall in 2008. On December 10, 2008, Madoff's sons told authorities that their father had confessed to them that the asset management unit of his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme and went on to quote Bernie Madoff as describing it as "one big lie." The following day, FBI agents arrested Madoff and charged him with securities fraud. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had previously conducted investigations into Madoff's business practices, but had not uncovered this massive fraud at that time. On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme which ultimately defrauded thousands of investors out of billions of dollars. Madoff said he began the Ponzi scheme in the early '90s; however, federal investigators believe the fraud began as early as the mid-1980s and may have even begun as far back as the '70s. The amount missing from client accounts, including fabricated gains, was estimated to be approximately $65 billion. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed.