It seems that Bernard Madoff's claims about his relationship with the Harvard Business School are not outright lies, but mere stretches of truth and imagination.
In a series of interviews with Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino this summer, Madoff boasted that he was developing a course with the school—a course focused not on the $65 billion Ponzi scheme that earned him a 150-year prison sentence, but on his decades as a pioneer on Wall Street.
Harvard quickly denied those claims, but after Madoff insisted last week to Gasparino that he was, in fact, working with a Harvard Business School professor, Harvard amended its initial denial.
"There are no official discussions of any kind about developing a course with him," a Harvard spokesman told Fox. But the school conceded that he has corresponded with "a member of the faculty" who is "conducting this research independently."
"I'm sorry for any confusion that has caused but we do not monitor the research activities of our individual faculty members," the spokesman explained.
Neither Madoff nor Harvard would identify the professor in question. Madoff told Gasparino he should ask Diana Henriques, author of a book about Madoff's scam, with whom he claimed to have shared his correspondence with the Harvard professor.
Henriques confirmed "communication between Madoff and a Harvard Business School professor for some independent research," but did not provide a name.