Tell me, Bernie: phone exchange between Madoff, top SEC official is illuminating
Tell me, Bernie: phone exchange between Madoff, top SEC official is illuminating

Bureau News September 4th, 2009

Questioning Madoff on the phone

The new report by the inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission on the agency’s failure to detect Bernard Madoff’s multibillion-dollar fraud over 16 years is packed with disclosures and tantalizing details. Here, for example, is a snippet of a phone conversation in December 2003 between Lori Richards, then the director of the SEC’s inspections office, and Madoff. The issue was whether Madoff was secretly operating an investment fund in addition to his wholesale brokerage operation, whose existence was well known:

Richards: “Bernie, it’s Lori.”

Madoff: “Hi Lori.”

Richards: “I need you to help me out. Can you tell me about your hedge funds?”

Madoff: “I don’t have a hedge fund.”

Richards: “I didn’t think so.”

Madoff: “I execute trades for hedge funds.”

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