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Bernie Madoff Cornered the Market on Hot Chocolate in Prison

You can take the man out of business, but you can’t take business out of the man.

It seems that a stiff prison sentence for running a Ponzi scheme wasn’t enough to dissuade Bernie Madoff from entrepreneurial ventures. The disgraced investor apparently seized control of the hot chocolate market in the North Carolina lockup where he’s serving time.

“Bernie really was a successful businessman with quite original insights into the market, and he’s continued applying his business instincts in prison,” Steve Fishman, a journalist who’s kept in touch with Madoff behind bars, told MarketWatch. “At one point, he cornered the hot chocolate market. He bought up every package of Swiss Miss from the commissary and sold it for a profit in the prison yard. He monopolized hot chocolate! He made it so that, if you wanted any, you had to go through Bernie.”

His fellow inmates, Fishman said, idolize Madoff for his skills as a schemer, and some look to him for advice on their own finances. The medium security facility is likely the only place he will ever get to ply his trade, as the 78-year-old is now serving an 150-year-sentence.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at [email protected] or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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