Bernard Lawrence Madoff (/ˈmeɪdɔːf/MAY-dawf; April 29, 1938 – April 14, 2021) was an American fraudster and financier who was the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, worth about $64.8 billion. He was at one time chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange. He advanced the proliferation of electronic trading platforms and the concept of payment for order flow, which has been described as a "legal kickback."
Madoff founded a penny stockbrokerage in 1960, which eventually grew into Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. He served as the company's chairman until his arrest on December 11, 2008. That year, the firm was the 6th-largest market maker in S&P 500 stocks.