Skip to comments.How a Pyramid Scheme Takes Shape
Posted on 12/16/2008 7:22:04 AM PST by marshmallow
About nine years ago, Frank Casey went to New York to check out the competition and came away unimpressed with Bernard Madoff.
Casey was vice president of marketing for Rampart Investment Management in Boston, one of the country's top firms specializing in investing in options. Madoff, at the time, was earning a reputation on Wall Street as a can't-miss money manager who used options strategies to produce double-digit returns without blemish.
But from what Casey saw in 1999, Madoff's system did not make sense.
"Either he wasn't doing what he said he was doing, or maybe he was using the clients' money to help his own positions," Casey recalled in an interview yesterday.
When he reported back to colleagues at Rampart, one in particular grew determined to unravel Madoff's mysterious investment strategy - portfolio manager Harry Markopolos. And when he couldn't, Markopolos undertook a crusade against Madoff that started with asking officials at the Boston office of the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate him.
Now an executive recruiter, Markopolos declined to be interviewed. But what regulators did - and did not do - in response to Markopolos's entreaties is a now a burning question for the agency, after Madoff's arrest last week on charges of running a Ponzi scheme that lost up to $50 billion, perhaps the largest in history.
The SEC and other authorities say Madoff confessed to running a Ponzi scheme - paying one set of clients with money from another - cheating dozens of investors, including some of the most prominent families in Massachusetts, out of millions. The charges came after Madoff allegedly confessed to employees of his own firm.
Madoff's attorney didn't return messages yesterday.
The SEC did conduct two inquiries of Madoff, in 2005 and 2007. The agency did not find any major problems.....
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
I’ll bet there is plenty of Kennedy money in this Madoff theft. THAT IS WHY they will get the govt bail out.
> Harry Markopolos
Now *there’s* an improbable name for you. I wonder if he’s been to China?
Well, FIRST you get a pyramid...
not exactly a pyramid scheme, its a ponzi scheme and they’re different. Pyramid schemes work by the bottom propping up the layer above. Ponzi schemes work by a revolving door. Both schemes always fail as for it to keep going, it requires more new ppl to be fooled.
This one failed because everyone wanted to draw their money out of it, due to the recent market crash and then realize theres no money there
First step is to find a group of greedy investors who are willing to ignore the adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”
Crack auditors or auditors on crack?
well the auditors should get jailed time too
Step # 1:
Seems everyone has forgotten the “housing bubble” so soon.
That, too, was a scheme to draw investors in from the bottom, and spread the wealth at the top.
Worked fine, as long as more money was generated from the bottom. Then, oh, oh....
Trouble is, the SEC “investigators” are salaried dweebs who will get paid the same whether they uncover any fraud or not. Start putting them on some sort of commission program, for finds that result in convictions and prison terms for the perps (thus pretty firmly eliminating the collusion risk), and perps will start getting exposed much faster, and with the biggest ones getting exposed first.
Asking for info.
For a minute i thought the article was going to be about Social Security..........shucks!
You just nailed it. It is as simple as that. As W. C. Fields said...You can’t cheat an honest man!
Often, the discovery of fraud has more to do with luck, than skill. The most skilled auditors out there will never guarantee they'll find fraud during an audit, even if it actually exists. It's the nature of the beast.
No audit is guaranteed to uncover fraud, even if it is suspected. The most skilled auditors out there will never guarantee they'll find fraud even if it does actually exist. You can certainly tailor the audit to increase your likelihood of discovering fraud, but there is never a guarantee.
LOL! Marco! Polo! Fish out of water! none!
Greeks rock. I am not one but the guy who figured out the Enron scam was James Chanos, founder and President of Kynikos Associates Ltd.
It appears Chanos also exposed Drexel Burnham and Baldwin.
Mr. Harry Markpolos should be put in charge of the SEC. Seems like Greek-Americans are pretty good at exposing scams. Sadly nobody was listening to Harry. :-(
Some of the SEC auditors are not bad. The problem is Congress rides the SEC and hedge funds have been given a free pass. Way too much politics at the SEC.
Agreed. Politics are huge in audits. They shouldn’t be, but they are.