The True Lies star plays the head of a corporation caught up in a Ponzi scheme in new film Madea's Witness Protection, and he admits he had a real-life family nightmare to fall back on as research.
Arnold tells BlogTalkRadio.com, "My aunt was a victim and lost all her money to Bernie Madoff. It's tough because these guys are so good at what they do that they make you feel you're getting inside. My aunt was not a wealthy person but they put her on the 'inside' with rich people.
"Be wary when someone says they're letting you in on the secret world of money making... When something doesn't smell right, it's not right. I've had issues with one business manager in the past but never anything as bad as what happened to these Madoff victims. It's sad."
Madoff was jailed in 2009 after pleading guilty to several federal felonies. He defrauded investors out of millions through a long-running, fraudulent investment operation, known as a Ponzi scheme.