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SEC releases Madoff investigations

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 30, 2009 | 8:43 pm

Trick or treat?

The Securities and Exchange Commission today released a truckload of files from its investigations of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities Inc. You remember the guy. From The New York Times:

The 6,157 pages of exhibits include a full account of a June 17 interview with Mr. Madoff, who confessed in March to running the largest Ponzi scheme in history, a fraud whose victims number in the thousands and whose cash losses are now put at more than $21 billion.

In short excerpts from that interview, included in the full 477-page report made public last month, Mr. Madoff expressed amazement that regulators failed so many times to detect his fraud, given the numerous credible tips that came into the agency over a 16-year period.

The exhibits provide additional details about Mr. Madoff’s comments, including his observation that the agency’s investigators seemed to find it “inconceivable” that he was operating a massive fraud.

Indeed, he said he got the impression through all the examinations and investigations over the years that “it never entered the S.E.C.’s mind that it was a Ponzi scheme,” according to a 12-page summary of the interview.

Mr. Madoff said that if the S.E.C. had asked for trading records or talked to the supposed counter-parties in his fake transactions, they would have found the fraud. “If you’re looking for a Ponzi scheme, it’s the first thing you do,” he said.

Because of the risk of being caught, Mr. Madoff said, he was “worried every time” examiners from the agency showed up. “It was a nightmare for me,” he said. adding “I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago.”

Read the rest here.

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