Investors may have been duped because [Bernard L.] Madoff sent detailed brokerage statements to investors whose money he managed, sometimes reporting hundreds of individual stock trades per month. Investors who asked for their money back could have it returned within days. And while typical Ponzi schemes promise very high returns, Mr. Madoff’s promised returns were relatively realistic — about 10 percent a year — though they were unrealistically steady.People know that if it's too good to be true, it isn't. So, I guess, it wasn't too good, just good enough.
IN THE COMMENT: The Drill SGT says my title is misleading, since Madoff didn't get the money for himself. I was madly trying for a play on the name Madoff. But I doff ma toque to the Sgt. He's right.