Bernie Madoff Cornered the Market on Hot Chocolate in Prison by the Forward

Bernie Madoff Cornered the Market on Hot Chocolate in Prison

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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 or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon


Daniel J. Solomon

Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.

Bernie Madoff Cornered the Market on Hot Chocolate in Prison

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