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New York hedge fund manager and Wall Street legend Bernard Madoff has been charged with what could be the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff had apparently planned to carve up his last $300m (200m) between friends, family and employees before making the shocking confession that his investment prowess was really the result of one of the world's biggest ever frauds.
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But, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 90-year-old could not implement his plan before his huge pyramid scheme - whose 10-12% annual returns had attracted top-flight investors around the globe - collapsed with losses of at least $40bn.

The alleged victims span from the super rich, to pensioners and powerful financial institutions, to local charities. Some investors claim they've been wiped out, while others are still likely to come forward. Among the world's biggest banking institutions, Britain's HSBC Holdings PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Man Group PLC, Spain's Grupo Santander SA, France's BNP Paribas and Japan's Nomura Holdings have reported to have fallen victim to Madoff's alleged $40 billion Ponzi scheme.
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