Bernie Madoff, the reviled former executive convicted of organizing and leading an elaborate Ponzi scheme worth billions of dollars, was sentenced to a whopping 150 years in prison for his crimes. The perpetrator of the largest fraud in the history of the United States has not been content to serve his term quietly, however. According to reports by Audible and Marketwatch, Madoff has found a way to earn money while behind bars, although this time his business has to do with the hot chocolate available for sale in his prison commissary.

Monopoly on Chocolate

Madoff orchestrated his plan so that he would have a monopoly on the prison's supply of hot chocolate, according to journalist Steve Fishman of the audio series and podcast Audible. "He bought up every package of Swiss Miss from the commissary and sold it for a profit in the prison yard. He made it so that, if you wanted any, you had to go through Bernie," Fishman reported to Marketwatch. Representatives from Swiss Miss's parent company, ConAgra, did not respond to requests for comment on the situation made by

Once a Dealer, Always a Dealer

That Madoff is continuing to run schemes while behind bars comes as little surprise to many, no doubt. Though he has operated essentially out of the public eye since the eruption of his Ponzi scheme scandal, Madoff nonetheless is still working to capitalize on the situation at hand by any means necessary, even if the stakes are much lower in prison. Madoff's Ponzi scheme, considered by many to be the largest con in American history and costing unwitting investors billions of dollars in total losses, was based on the premise of a promise of a large return on investment with the assurance that little risk was involved. As with most Ponzi schemes, Madoff lied to investors in his plan, telling them that he was investing their money into the market in order to generate substantial returns, but in reality redistributing that money to newer investors in the scheme. Eventually, when the money for redistribution dried up, the plan fell apart and federal investigators closed in. In Madoff's case, he managed to bilk investors out of a total of about $65 billion dollars, netting himself a substantial personal profit of about $20 billion. The Madoff case was far-reaching and disastrous in terms of its fallout, with many investors crippled as a result of the scheme, and Madoff's son, who was complicit in the con, eventually committing suicide as a result of the situation. In the time since Madoff's Ponzi scheme, federal investors have increased their efforts to spot and crack down on potential frauds of a similar type.


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