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The sleuth's choicest words were reserved for the SEC, which he assaulted with a vengeance once directed at Madoff. "I gift-wrapped and delivered the largest Ponzi scheme in history to them, and somehow they couldn't be bothered," he complained.
The SEC did a good job of making Markopolos's case for him; after he left the table, he was replaced by a panel of agency lawyers who refused to say anything about the Madoff case. But even if they had spoken, they couldn't have offered anything to compete with the thriller plot the latter-day Dirty Harry outlined.
The clients who trusted Bernard L. Madoff still do not know exactly what he did with their money. But they know what he did not do with it: He did not buy any of those blue-chip stocks and Treasury bills listed on their account statements over the last 13 years.
Madoff's operation was enormous, taking in 2,350 clients. For at least 13 years, no securities at all were purchased on behalf of those clients. That means that every single transaction recorded, every cent of gain was simply made up out of thin air. The Trustee has no idea how long it will take to figure out what assets may be recovered for the victims.
2:30 p.m. | Again, no answer: Representative Joe Donnelly of Indiana asks how long the S.E.C. knew there was a one-person accounting firm involved in Mr. Madoff’s operation. Ms. Thomsen said she couldn’t answer that question.