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Trailer for ABC’s Madoff miniseries teaches you how to make and lose $50 billion

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a time-honored con, but Bernie Madoff, may have made off with more money executing it than anyone before or since. THR reports that the infamous swindler’s highly publicized ponzi scheme will soon be the subject of an ABC miniseries titled Madoff, and the network has already released the first trailer.

Richard Dreyfuss, who plays the magnate-turned-inmate, opens the trailer by letting you in on a little secret that con-artists have known for centuries: “You want to know how to get people to trust you with their money? You present it as an exclusive thing.” He goes on to add “nothing on Earth makes people want something more than telling them they can’t have it.”

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Understanding that simple truth was a big part of how Madoff attracted investors and came to manage (and ultimately lose) in excess of $50 billion dollars in capital. Of course, what Dreyfuss left out was that it helps to be completely compassionless and utterly lacking in scruples as well.

The trailer goes on to explore the excess and opulence that resulted from Madoff’s shady dealings and the devastation that was wrought when the other shoe finally dropped. Ironically, it seems that even Ruth Madoff (Blythe Danner) and Mark Madoff (Tom Lipinski) — Bernie’s wife and son — weren’t in on the scheme, and one of the most dramatic moments in the trailer comes when the fraudster is forced to tell his family that he has lost an unfathomable amount of money.

ABC’s upcoming miniseries debuts on February 3, 2016, and is one of two in-the-works TV projects inspired by Brian Ross’ book The Madoff Chronicles. The other — HBO’s Wizard of Lies — stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer as Bernie and Ruth Madoff.