Bernie Madoff is still getting rich — from his prison hot chocolate monopoly

ByJames Dennin

You can take the man off Wall Street, but you can't take Wall Street out of the man.

After former executive Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison —for the largest fraud case in U.S. history — it seemed his days of making money at other people's expense were behind him. 

Not so. 

Madoff has reportedly discovered his next racket: Purchasing all of his prison commissary's hot chocolate — and flipping it for a profit, according to a new audio series from Audible, reported by Marketwatch.

"He bought up every package of Swiss Miss from the commissary and sold it for a profit in the prison yard," journalist Steve Fishman, the show's host, told Marketwatch. "He monopolized hot chocolate! He made it so that, if you wanted any, you had to go through Bernie."

Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images

Representatives from ConAgra, Swiss Miss's parent company, didn't immediately respond to Mic's request for comment.

Madoff has been operating more or less under the radar ever since it came to light that his massive investment fund was really just a Ponzi scheme. 

Named for Charles Ponzi — who pioneered the technique after a brief foray into buying and selling stamps in the early 20th century — Ponzi schemes typically describe an arrangement in which a broker promises someone huge returns with little amount of risk.

Generally, these con-men tell investors they're taking money and putting it into the market — when in reality they're using it to pay back the last set of people who handed over lots of cash.

When there finally isn't enough money to be redistributed, the system falls apart.

It's a popular scheme, with multiple perpetrators racking up billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains, but none come close to Madoff, who reportedly made off with $20 billion — and defrauded investors out of $65 billion — before the authorities caught up to him. 

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