No Firings At SEC For Missing Madoff's Massive Ponzi Scheme | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

    No Firings At SEC For Missing Madoff's Massive Ponzi Scheme

    Seven employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission have been disciplined, but no one has been fired, after investigations into how the agency failed to stop Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme despite repeated warnings that he was stealing billions of dollars from investors, The Washington Post reports.

    An SEC spokesman, John Nester, tells the Post that the agency considered "all factors relevant to the imposition of discipline, including the employees' performance before and since the Madoff events." The most severe punishment: one person got "a 30-day suspension without pay and a reduction in pay," the Post says.

    As Morning Edition reported in March 2010, Harry Markopolos "a financial analyst-turned-investigator who spent nearly a decade on Madoff's trail," warned the SEC repeatedly about what what was happening and was "largely ignored."

    Indeed the SEC's Office of Investigations reported that the SEC "received more than ample information in the form of detailed and substantive complaints [from Markopolos and others] over the years to warrant a thorough and comprehensive examination and/or investigation of Bernard Madoff and BMIS for operating a Ponzi scheme, and that despite three examinations and two investigations being conducted, a thorough and competent investigation or examination was never performed."

    Most egregiously, the report concluded, when SEC investigators did look into Madoff's actions they, "never verified Madoff's purported trading with any independent third parties."

    "Despite numerous credible and detailed complaints," the report says, "the SEC never properly examined or investigated Madoff's trading and never took the necessary, but basic, steps to determine if Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme. Had these efforts been made with appropriate follow-up at any time beginning in June of 1992 until December 2008, the SEC could have uncovered the Ponzi scheme well before Madoff confessed."

    Madoff is serving a sentence of 150 years in prison for his crimes. At his June 2009 sentencing, the judge said that it would be conservative to say Madoff cost his victims $13 billion.

    Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

    NPR

    'Mislaid' Punctures Notions Of Gender And Race

    In Nell Zink's new book, Mislaid, a young woman marries her male professor. It's 1965. She likes women; he likes men. What follows is a biting satire about gender, race and sexuality.
    NPR

    Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Alton Brown

    Whether you're barbecuing OR grilling, a meat-eater or a vegetarian, here's how to keep your flavor from going up in smoke this Memorial Day weekend.
    NPR

    Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

    The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
    NPR

    The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

    The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

    Leave a Comment

    Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.