When Massachusetts accountant Harry Markopolos contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission with evidence that Bernie Madoff’s securities firm was nothing more than a massive Ponzi scheme, they thought he was nuts. As it turns out, that may have been the one thing the SEC was right about in this whole affair. While Markopolos was dead-on about Madoff, the SEC’s incompetence, and a number of other things, he is definitely kind of nuts. In his upcoming memoir, the plaintively titled No One Would Listen, the accountant describes how he became so tormented by the thought that figures from the “Russian mafia and the drug cartels” that Madoff serviced might retaliate against him that he began carrying a gun everywhere he went, asked for 24/7 police protection, and fantasized about killing the man himself.
If he contacted me and threatened me, I was going to drive down to New York and take him out. At that point it would have come down to him or me; it was as simple as that. The government would have forced me into it by failing to do its job, and failing to protect me. In that situation I felt I had no other options. I was going to kill him.
Happily, it didn’t come to that. Or unhappily? When Madoff investor Thierry de la Villehuchet slit his wrists after losing his shirt to Madoff, Markopolos said he wept for three days. “And truthfully,” he writes. “I’ve never stopped wondering if I could have saved his life.”