Madoff’s last scam

June 17, 2009

The SEC’s decision to let Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff off with a “no admission of wrongdoing” settlement could be defended on a number of levels, but none will be very satisfying on a day when the Obama administration is set to give the much-maligned regulatory body sweeping new powers to oversee U.S. securities markets.

Madoff pleaded guilty to a $65 billion investment scam in a separate criminal case and faces sentencing on June 29. There is no way he is ever returning to Wall Street, and he is probably going to jail for the rest of his life.

One might consider it a waste of SEC resources to pursue the case any further. And there’s poetic justice in the agency, which for decades missed the biggest fraud on Wall Street, being denied any satisfaction in the courtroom. SEC sources said the deal with Madoff is in line with a February settlement that also included no admission or denial of the findings.

But with the president just hours away from unveiling his plan to boost the SEC’s resources and widen its mandate to catch future Madoffs, it may have been worth keeping a lawyer or two on the case — for appearances’ sake.

4 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Nobody cares about this guy anymore, and nobody cares about the people he scammed simply because it’s “buyer beware” in this world, as it’s always been. There’s no pity for those who make foolish investments and don’t have the sense to do routine prudent follow up on those investments. Blindly giving money to any investment manager without checking up on it is completely careless. These folks have more of mom and dad’s money than they have sense. Case closed.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

However you feel about Bernie, you’ve got to admit that he’s good, he plays an excellent game of poker as he always deals the cards. If there was an Oscar for scammer of the century he would win it for years to come.


The Mafoff boys and the entire clan should be punished. They lived off of hard earned money that other people earned. Shame on the entire family.

Posted by Carmen | Report as abusive

That the SEC could not get Madoff to admit to wrongdoing after he had already pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts had led me to conclude that the SEC can never be reformed and will never be competent to find anything. The expanded powers now being conferred upon them would not have helped them solve the Madoff case earlier. All the evidence they needed had already been provided to them by the Whistle Blower. He gave the SEC a road map and they simply ignored it. Giving them more powers now won’t make them smarter or more capable. There is no security in the securities market. It’s a shell game where fat cats on Wall Street party with the hard earned money and pension fund of the little guy on Mainstreet. Look at Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, etc., etc.

Posted by Peter Burman | Report as abusive

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