BUTNER, N.C., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Speaking from jail in North Carolina, con man Bernie Madoff indicated though his Ponzi scam defrauded people out of their life savings, he was the victim.
Madoff, serving a 150-year sentence at Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C., spoke by phone to New York Magazine in a series of jailhouse interviews in which he both accepted blame for orchestrating a scheme that eventually crumbled, leaving thousands of investors with billions of dollars in losses, and tried to mend the image people have of him.
"Look, imagine going home every night, not being able to tell your wife, living with this ax over your head, not telling your sons, my brother, seeing them every day in the business and not being able to confide in them," ABC News reported Madoff told the magazine.
"I'm not the kind of person I'm being portrayed as," he said.
Madoff, 72, alleges he was talked into starting the Ponzi scheme but never named names and said when the walls came crashing down it was a "nightmare."
"I mean, you know, I destroyed our family ... . It was a nightmare for me. It was only a nightmare for me. It's horrible," Madoff said. "I had more than enough money to support any of my lifestyle and my family's lifestyle. I didn't need to do this for that. I allowed (myself) to be talked into something, and that's my fault."
Business Insider reported although there are several lawsuits connected with major investors over ill-gotten profits, Madoff told New York Magazine "most" of his individual clients would not be net losers in the fraud.
"I made a lot of money for them," he said. "I was making 20 percent returns for them for years -- all the A and B clients, all my friends, everybody else. It was the people that came in very late in the game that got hurt.
"I'm confident that when this thing is all finished, (that) very few people, if any, will lose their principal."