In the fallout from Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme there has been no shortage of the reprehensible, both among the victims and the perpetrators. The Wall Street Journal’s interview and story about Andres Piedrahita adds one more to the ranks.
As far as we can make out from the Journal profile, Piedrahita was the underachieving son of a rich, Colombian family. Afteryears of bouncing around the financial world with varying degrees of failure, hitched his wagon to Walter Noel’s daughter, Corina.
Once ensconced in the family business, he went about lining up pigeons for Madoff and living the life.
According to the Journal:
“Friends say Mr. Piedrahita settled down after his marriage to Ms. Noel. He merged Littlestone with Fairfield Greenwich in 1997. Shortly after, he moved to London to a mansion on Chester Square. He entertained lavishly. One friend remembers a dinner party flush with English dukes and members of European royal houses. “The only dukes not there were the Dukes of Hazzard,” joked Mr. Botero.
In Madrid, where he moved in 2003, Mr. Piedrahita’s lifestyle became even grander. He commuted between Madrid and London on a private Gulfstream jet which was parked at a military base close to Madrid. He was invited to a costume party at a Russian estate where everyone dressed up as czarist-era aristocrats. He went hunting for pheasants with the cream of Spanish society.”
He says no one knew anything about what Madoff was doing and that he shouldn’t be villified for any part he or his in-laws played in the fiasco.
“I’m a person who has a great ability at public relations. I’m a very friendly person. I love people. I am known for being fun….I did well in life. I’m not ashamed of it.”