In his first interview with the press since his arrest in 2008, Bernie Madoff is no longer taking full blame for the $65 billion Ponzi scheme he masterminded.
Madoff told The New York Times that banks and hedge funds were complicit in his fraud.
Madoff did not give specific names, but said "they had to know" and operated with a "willful blindness."
Burt Ross, who lost $5 million in Madoff's schemes, said on "The Early Show" Thursday that Madoff still doesn't get it.
He said, "I think he is so insecure that he's trying to say, and he said this at the trial also, that he really was a bright guy and could make money for people legitimately. But that's not Bernie Madoff's epitaph. The fact of the matter is, he couldn't make money for people without cheating. And that's what he is. He's a cheat."
He continued, "There was no expectation, I think, on any of our parts that he is ever going to get it. We're not looking for that."
Co-anchor Erica Hill noted, "(Madoff) told The New York Times that he had given some information to the trustees overseeing the liquidation of the firm's assets to help -- that would help recover some of the money. Then we hear this morning that that trustee says, 'Look, you know what? I never sat down and had that conversation with him.' Do you think (Madoff) may have lied? And if so, would that surprise you?"
Ross said, "Well, if I had a choice between believing Bernie Madoff or the federal trustee, Irving Picard, my money is on Irving Picard. Bernie Madoff has no credibility with me."
Does Ross believe the banks and hedge funds knew about the Ponzi scheme?
Ross said, "I think a point has to be clarified. ... There's a huge difference between actually knowing, which would be possibly criminal, and being suspicious, or should have known. And I think that, in most of these instances, we're in the latter category, which is possibly should have known, and then maybe there was a violation of a fiduciary responsibility with a bank, and those people may end up having to cough up a lot of money. But that's quite different from the concept of actually knowing."
He added many of the institutions may have been "suspicious" of Madoff. "It was probably in their self-interest not to do additional due diligence," he explained. "It's kind of when you see something you don't like, you turn away from it. But that's different from being complicit."
Ross says he's not angry anymore about the Madoff's ripoff.
"I felt that, by putting the anger away a couple years ago, I was going to get through life a lot better. So, maybe it's suppressed, but no, it doesn't make me angry."