Friday, December 12, 2008

How Bad Did the SEC Blow the Madoff Ponzi Scheme?

As startling as a $50 billion Ponzi scheme is, more staggering has to be the SEC's failure to catch the scheme years ago.

The latest from WSJ is that Harry Markopolos, who years ago worked for a rival firm, is a money manger and a fraud investigator, wrote to the SEC in 1999 about Madoff after researching Madoff's supposed stock-options strategy and was convinced the results likely weren't real.

"Madoff Securities is the world's largest Ponzi Scheme," Markopolos, wrote in his 1999 letter to the SEC, according to WSJ.

Markopolos didn't stop there. He pursued his accusations over the past nine years, dealing with both the New York and Boston bureaus of the SEC, according to documents he sent to the SEC and reviewed by WSJ.

A series of media stories also raised questions about Madoff's operations, including a piece entitled "Madoff Tops Charts: Sceptics Ask How" in the industry publication MAR/Hedge in May, 2001, and a subsequent story in Barron's.

How could the SEC have missed this with the media covering the story and a money manager/fraud investigator trying to get them to investigate for almost 10 years? As I wrote earlier, the SEC was clearly doing something else besides looking for bad guys. They were doing what they always do, respond to political pressures, re-announcing absurd rules to fight the financial crisis and launching absurd show trials against the likes of Mark Cuban.


  1. These guys make the Somali pirates look like pikers? How many others are out there. Have you looked at Martin Andersons story?

  2. Madoff consumes his fellow Judaics.

  3. A friend tells me Yeshiva University was hurt very badly. How could he do this to his own people?

  4. Should all the SEC go to prision for life; and throw in Madoff and his associates!!! Gee if I stole that much was or involved in coverup, well I'd be in prision for life. Government too must be held accountable!

    By definition: A person can be held criminally liable as an "accessory after the fact" if they have knowledge that a crime was committed and assists the offender to hinder his apprehension, trial or punishment. You can also be guilty of aiding and abetting a crime if you help another person in committing the crime, with knowledge of the criminal nature of the act they're committing.
    Also: Aiding and abetting is a theory of criminal liability. You can be guilty of a crime either as a principal perpetrator or as an aider and abettor.

    Go get emm....