When rumors began to brew last spring that Bernie Madoff — sentenced to 150 years behind bars for his epic, multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme — was actively working with Harvard Business School to develop a case study for graduate students about, well, himself, many refused to believe it. Harvard and Madoff? Absolutely not! Why would Harvard choose to sully its own good name by consulting such an internationally reviled criminal? Indeed, the idea was so impossible that a spokesman for the B-school itself stepped up and issued an unequivocal denial, explaining that Mr. Madoff was merely making shit up.
It made sense, anyway. Bernie the famous con man had finally gone off his rocker, and now that he was confined, he had nothing better to do than to stir up ridiculous stories about himself to get attention. In a shocking twist, the New York Times reported yesterday that Bernie Madoff actually IS helping Harvard — a Harvard professor, to be exact.
Turns out Madoff has been in correspondence with an unnamed Harvard faculty member (whose name remains confidential), who has been conducting a long-term research project on white-collar felons. Apparently, this particular scheme was so well-hidden and dastardly that even Harvard itself didn’t know about it.
A spokesman for Harvard now says that Madoff has “no official involvement” with the school, but explains that a professor has undertaken “independent research” that will result in case studies examining responsible vs. irresponsible leadership.