Fascinating piece you may have overlooked this week in the Boston Globe on Harry Markopolos, the author of the detailed November 2005 memo to the SEC, identifying 29 red flags about Madoff and concluding he was a fraud.


“A month ago, Harry Markopolos was an accountant unknown outside Boston’s financial community. Now the slight, bookish 52-year-old from Whitman is under siege. Christmas week, he spent Monday being interviewed by “60 Minutes,” Tuesday preparing to testify in Washington, and Wednesday sorting through pitches from book authors and movie producers. His mother-in-law now answers the door at his suburban stucco house and shoos away the reporters who knock at all hours.

The man who spent nearly a decade trying to blow the whistle on what appears to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history has achieved a kind of hero status within the investment world. He is poised to reap both fame and fortune from a disaster that has cost the investors of Bernard L. Madoff as much as $50 billion.

“You’ve spent a good part of your life trying to expose a truth, in a way few men in modern history have,” one book author wrote in an e-mail to Markopolos.

Steven Pearl, a producer and writer in Los Angeles who wants to make a movie about Markopolos, said he sees “a remarkably compelling story about a guy who didn’t want to be in the middle of this. It’s like Cary Grant in ‘North by Northwest,’ where he’s thrown into a case of subterfuge and espionage because of a random telephone call.”

Its a quick read — well worth a few minutes on a Sunday morning . . .


SEC Ignored Detailed 2005 Complaint re: Madoff (December 2008)


The Whistleblower
Ross Kerber
Boston Globe, January 8, 2009


Category: Investing, Legal, Regulation

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8 Responses to “The Madoff Whistleblower”

  1. jpm says:

    Best line from Markopolos’ report to the SEC:

    As far as I know, none of the hedgefund, fund-of-funds (FOF’s) mentioned in my report are engaged in a conspiracy to commit fraud. I believe they are naive men and women with a notable lack of derivatives expertise and possessing little or no quantitative finance ability.

    And hilariously, nothing has changed in the past decade, except perhaps that there are fewer sheep to fleece.


  2. TheReformedBroker says:

    Facts about Harry Markopolos you may not be aware of:


  3. Steve Barry says:

    I have the perfect solution for all involved…name Harry Markopolis, mad dog whistleblower, new head of the SEC…give him TARP money to staff up the group.

  4. AndrewShaw says:

    just remember kids, it almost never pays to be a whistleblower. be careful before dreams of heroism. CYA or be destroyed

  5. Tahoe says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Very interesting. I found the aspect relating to his continued vigilence and reporting to the SEC despite the deaf (dumb and blind) ears. I look forward to his testimony. I hope for him that he is able to reclaim some of his anonimity. For someone uncomfortable with the attetnion, I expect it is not a fun place to be at all. Like he says, all he cared about was figuring it out.

  6. AGG says:

    Steve Barry Says:

    January 11th, 2009 at 11:22 am
    I have the perfect solution for all involved…name Harry Markopolis, mad dog whistleblower, new head of the SEC…give him TARP money to staff up the group.

    I AGREE! This is a brave and honest man. The press and hollywood will make him a hero but we shouldn’t forget the systemic nature of what he has exposed. The system is noe DESIGNED to thwart oversight. You don’t need a new system. You need honest, responsible, unbuyable people to comb the system for the thwarting mechanisms and remove them. Then you need a hierarchy (watchers and watchers of the watchers) of watchers to identify future attempts at re-insertion of said thwarting mechanisms as well as identification and prosecution with strong penalties to the perps.
    The corruption on congress would be smashed as well.
    President Obama, shut the crooks down or we’ll believe you are one of them.

  7. AGG says:

    Sorry, I meant “the system is now DESIGNED …”.

  8. AGG says:

    If Bernie Madoff, at least, can still revive what remains of our deadened capacity for outrage, so can those who pulled off Washington’s Ponzi schemes. The more we learn about where all the bodies and billions were buried on our path to ruin, the easier it may be for our new president to make the case for a bold, whatever-it-takes New Deal.
    © 2009 The New York Times
    Frank Rich is a regular columnist for The New York Times. He is the other author of many book, including The Great Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina.