Megan McArdle notes:
The scale of Bernie Madoff's crimes has largely eclipsed the more interesting scam that broke around the same time: the antics of Mark Dreier, who bilked institutional investors for millions with faked securities. What we know about Madoff suggests that he may have become an almost accidental crook, like many of the accounting fraudsters of yesteryear: take big losses, cook the books to cover them until he could "catch up", and when you realize you're too far behind, simply ride the fraud as long as you can.
Megan's right. I remember Mark Dreier, Bernie broke just after him, and being an order of magnitude (or two) bigger of course the substance of Dreier's con would fade into the shadows. But read the whole profile, it's clear that Dreier's con had a lot more style and panache. Sometimes you need to look beyond money.