(Reporting by Ned Barnett in Chapel Hill, N.C.)
He says he is fascinated by the accusations of multibillion dollar Ponzi schemes, involving tangled webs of companies and offshore banks, which have put Wall Street financier Madoff in jail for 150 years and are also leveled against Texas billionaire and sports entrepreneur Stanford.
Madoff pleaded guilty in March to a $65 billion fraud and was jailed in June, while Stanford has pleaded not guilty to charges that he bilked investors in a $7 billion swindle.
“The thing about Bernie (Madoff) and Allen Stanford, you know, if I wrote that stuff nobody would believe it,” Grisham told reporters at the opening of the North Carolina Literary Festival at the University of North Carolina.
Lawyer-turned-author Grisham, 54, known for his works like “The Firm,” “The Testament” and “The Runaway Jury,” which probe such human failings as greed and deceit, said his imagination is no match for the stories behind real super swindlers.