Seattle’s “Mini Madoff” escapes prison

Washington native Frederick Darren Berg bamboozled investors out of more than $100m in a Ponzi scheme -- and he just escaped from federal prison.


December 11, 2017

Washington native Frederick Darren Berg bamboozled investors out of more than $100m in a Ponzi scheme — and he just escaped from federal prison.

Officials say Berg, known in the biz as “Mini Madoff,” simply “walked away” from the minimum-security work camp in Atwater, California. Neat!

A little background on Mr. White Collar

In 2012, FDB was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud.

Between 2001 and 2009, he stole over $100m from 800+ (mainly senior citizen) “investors” in his company Meridian Group — as part of one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest-ever Ponzi schemes.

His purchases included two Lear Jets, yachts (yes, plural), and multiple million-dollar properties in Washington state and California — where he was ultimately arrested in 2011.

And then, last Wednesday… he just walked away?

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!?

In true Catch Me If You Can fashion, deputies are left scratching their heads. He was discovered missing at around 3:30 pm last Wednesday from a 130-inmate, minimum security facility — Berg is reportedly the 3rd inmate to escape from Atwater prison this year.

In other words, if you’re gonna do time in the slammer, make it Atwater.

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