In pleading guilty to criminal charges, Peter Madoff portrayed himself as a victim of a domineering older brother who he revered right up until an evening in December 2008 when his sibling revealed that his wildly successful investment business was a sham that lost its customers their nearly $20 billion investment.
"I was in total shock," Madoff said Friday as he described the confession by his older brother, Bernard. "My world was destroyed. I lost everything I worked for."
The 66-year-old Madoff, saying he was "deeply ashamed and terribly sorry," spoke angrily about his 74-year-old brother, who is serving a 150-year prison term after admitting his creation of the largest known Ponzi scheme.
"My family was torn apart as a result of my brother's atrocious conduct," he said. "I was reviled by strangers as well as friends who assumed that I knew about the Ponzi scheme."
He said his brother had made it clear that he would never become a partner in the business where he had worked since 1966, even as he was showered with tens of millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other financial gifts. He made him the investment business's chief compliance officer.