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In a remarkable development, the beleaguered Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) actually awarded the employee who botched the investigation of the largest Ponzi scheme in history with a cash bonus for a great job performance.
It marks the latest of many scandals for the famously inept federal agency charged with policing the nation’s financial industry. An SEC Inspector General probe discovered that the agency rewarded an incompetent investigator who missed Bernie Madoff’s illegal, $50 billion Ponzi scheme with a cash bonus for good work.
Released this week, the IG report doesn’t name the SEC investigator but confirms that he (or she) was one of the “key participants” looking into Madoff’s corrupt operation. It gets better. SEC supervisors nominated the unnamed employee for the award shortly after the agency’s IG issued a scathing report detailing how the agency failed miserably to catch Madoff. In fact, in that 2009 report the IG singles out the employee and assistant regional director for “numerous performance issues” and possible disciplinary action.
That could be because a big chunk of the SEC workforce was preoccupied gawking at pornography websites during work hours. While the economy slowly crumbled and Madoff defrauded investors, high-ranking SEC officials—including senior officers with lucrative six-figure salaries—and lower-level workers spent a large portion of their day viewing porn on government computers.
One of the most famous sayings in the VA is "Screw up and move up"