Did the SEC ignore warnings about Madoff because they were too busy busting their nut at work?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
They ignored the warnings in 1999 and 2000 because THEY ALREADY KNEW, and they were being paid off handsomely by Madoff. That's the ONLY way possible he got a free pass for 16 years while he pulled the biggest financial fraud in history literally right under the noses of the SEC.
Arthur Levitt, Jr. was the longest serving head of the SEC. Do a Google search on him, see what pops up.
He was appointed by Clinton in 1993 and again in 1998. He left in 2001, so he covered the entire Clinton administration.
Levitt gave Madoff a free pass because they were both members of the Harmonie Club, a social club for the ultra wealthy in NYC.
Madoff was first reported to the SEC in 1992:
Report: Regulator was tipped off about Madoff fraud as early as 1992
"a suspicion of trouble at Madoff Investment Securities arose as early as 1992 when customers of Avellino & Bienes, a fund that invested all its money with Madoff, complained about documents making a seemingly impossible promise of "100%" safe investments. Although the SEC shut down Avellino & Bienes, the agency only made a "brief and very limited" examination of Madoff."
Avellino & Bienes was shut down by the SEC in 1993, the year Levitt took charge.
Levitt also gave a special exemption to Enron, exempting it from accounting rules. This special exemption led directly to the Enron scam and the subsequent meltdown of the company, which took down a major chunk of the economy with it. It also led to the discovery of similar fraud at many other companies, fraud that got its start in the Clinton years.
If I was going to pick one individual who was most responsible for the rampant fraud of the Clinton years, it would have to be Art Levitt.