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Wall Street Journal missed Madoff fraud three years ago

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 4, 2009 | 12:56 pm

Harry Markopolos, the now-famous accountant who years ago tried to blow the whistle on Madoff, testified before a House panel today. Turns out the SEC wasn’t the only regulator of the free markets that dropped the ball and couldn’t see what Markopolos saw. Three years ago, he contacted the Wall Street Journal too.

He told the panel:

“[Pat Burns, communications director at Taxpayers Against Fraud] put me in contact with John Wilke, senior investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau. Mr. Wilke and I would become friends over the next three years. Unfortunately, as eager as Mr. Wilke was to investigate the Madoff story, it appears that the Wall Street Journal’s editors never gave him approval to start investigating. As you will see from my extensive e-mail correspondence with him over the next several months, there were several points in time in which he was getting ready to book air travel to start the story and then would get called off at the last minute. I never determined if the senior editors at the Wall Street Journal failed to authorize this investigation.”

Those e-mails can be read here.


(Hat tip: Jay Rosen)

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