Madoff Wishes He'd Been Caught 'Six or Eight Years Ago'


A new group of exhibits released yesterday by the S.E.C.’s inspector general, H. David Kotz, includes an interview with Bernard Madoff conducted two weeks after his sentencing, in which the fraudster marvels at the incompetence of the SEC officials who stubbornly refused to catch him for years, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of his guilt:

In the interview, Mr. Madoff said that the young investigators who pestered him over incidentals like e-mail messages should have just checked basics like his account with Wall Street’s central clearinghouse and his dealings with the firms that were supposedly handling his trades.

“If you’re looking at a Ponzi scheme, it’s the first thing you do,” he said.

And he actually wishes now that they'd done their job then:

Despite what Mr. Madoff described as the chronic ineptitude of the S.E.C., he said in the interview that he was “worried every time” examiners showed up.

“That was the nightmare I lived with,” he said, and he told Mr. Kotz he had wanted it to end. “I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago.”

Lapses Kept Scheme Alive, Madoff Told Investigators [NYT]