When Walker Manzke of Pound Ridge lost his job, thanks to Bernie Madoff, he got angry—at first. Then he got creative and started a new business, Sleazeballs.net, to sell golf balls featuring Madoff’s likeness, smirk and all.
Late last December, Manzke was laid off as a marketer at Maxam Capital Management in Darien, Connecticut, a feeder fund that steered—and lost—$280 million dollars of its investors funds to Madoff’s investment-management unit. A month later, Manzke had his new company up and running. “The thought of going back to work in the finance industry sickened me, so I decided to create Sleazeballs,” he says. “It started as a kind of revenge, but it soon took on a life of its own.”
Manzke, who used $10,000 of his own money to start the company, has already made back his initial investment and more. In addition to Madoff, the balls now feature such “sleazeballs” as O.J. and Michael Vick.