Tag Archives: Madoff

“certain banks … had “willful blindness” ” (Bernie Madoff)

An article in several American newspapers* (Feb. 15) quotes Bernie Madoff as saying, in a recent interview, that:

“certain banks…had “willful blindness” about the discrepancies in his dealings and were “complicit” in his fraud. “They had to know,” said Madoff. “But the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.’”

My argument with the credit card bank claimed exactly that with reference to charges put through my account by Push Traffic Inc.

  • Why would the bank allow John Raygoza’s company to put 3 charges, totalling  more than $5000, on my credit card account without questioning whether they truly had my authorization to do so? (Especially when I argued those charges within 12 hours, and before any documentation could have been processed)
  • The charges took my account some $1300 over my credit limit at the time.
  • The charges put my account into “overdraft” which meant my being assessed OD penalties on top of the additional interest. (That was the bank’s way of justifying accepting charges over my established and agreed credit limit since raising a client’s credit limit without the client’s authorization is illegal!)
  • If I’d been making a purchase at a local business in that situation, the bank would have at least asked me to verify my identity.
  • Raygoza didn’t even have the name on my card.

To me, the ease with which John Raygoza’s companies were able to rip off so many of us is directly related to the lax security of the banks and the credit card payment processors – as Mr. Madoff said “the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.'”

All that said, the financial institutions’ complicity through either negligence or “willful blindness” in no way excuses the fraudulent intent of Mr. Madoff’s operations, or the fraud perpetrated by John Raygoza, Ted Molina and David Sipes through their many operations (Push Traffic, JumpLaunch, etc.).

The fact that the financial institutions have been overhauling their security procedures now can’t undo the damage and heartbreak suffered by so many Madoff  investors and, on a lesser scale, Raygoza/Molina/Sipes victims.

See also the post at https://raygozascams.wordpress.com/ regarding ” facility for PushTraffic had been closed down by the acquiring bank at the direction of Visa”

*By Diana B. Henriques New York Times