Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Santa Claus Metaphor

Here’s an example of a metaphor in a white collar criminal case. It takes place in the trial employees of Bernie Madoff (They were found guilty). The defendants claimed that they were just following Madoff’s instructions with no idea that he was running a Ponzi scheme. Here is the narrative from USA Today:

A federal prosecutor presenting final government arguments in the fraud trial of five former Bernard Madoff aides Thursday described the "wonderful tale" of an "extraordinarily generous man" who brought riches to many people.

But the story is the tale of Santa Claus, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Jackson, not Madoff, the Ponzi scheme mastermind whose massive fraud made the financier and the former co-workers wealthy. He used the analogy in urging jurors to reject "the absurdity of the premise" that the defendants were unaware of the scam.

"Madoff Securities was not Santa's factory. The defendants in this case were not children. And New York City is not the North Pole," said Jackson, who argued that even children "always figure it out" that Santa's not real.


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