The Madoff Whistleblower

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.

Excerpt:

“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 . . .

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Previously: SEC Ignored Detailed 2005 Complaint re: Madoff (December 2008) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/detailed-and-ignored-sec-madoff-complaint/

Source: The Whistleblower Ross Kerber Boston Globe, January 8, 2009 http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/01/08/the_whistleblower/


Originally published at The Big Picture blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

One Response to "The Madoff Whistleblower"

  1. Aubrey   January 12, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    To me this is something that was just destined to happen in America because the face of old white men in business suits is the face of trustworthiness in America. I myself as a hard working honest African American businessman find myself not getting the leads or sales that would grow my business because I don’t have the right look. I find that anyone else in my profession can achieve because they have the look that people can trust because there image has not been tarnished as the black male has in America. I feel that even my own people tend to trust the word of someone who looks like Mr Madoff over those that look like themselves because that is what has been taught time and time again. Please don’t take my comments as racist but it’s just my simple observation of how I see things and unfortunately it will never change.