Whistleblower Doesn’t Revel In Being Right About Madoff

Jan 13 2009 | 5:02am ET

Ten years ago, a derivatives expert at Rampart Investment Management levied a startlingly prescient accusation at one of Wall Street’s biggest names: “Madoff Securities is the world’s largest Ponzi scheme.”

Harry Markopolos wrote those words to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1999, and consistently hounded the agency to look into Bernard Madoff and his New York-based firm. And though he seems to have been proven right—Madoff was charged last year with orchestrating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, a figure which would indeed make it the biggest ever—the man who first pointed the finger at Madoff has been surprisingly quiet. And he plans to keep it that way.

“Once his Congressional testimony is complete and his cooperation with the SEC Inspector General’s investigation concluded, he wishes to return to private life,” Markopolos’ attorneys said in a statement last week. He has refused media interviews. And he’s not been lured by the siren song of Hollywood, rejecting overtures to have a movie about himself made, according to the Boston Globe.

He’s even skirted Congress, sort of: Markopolos, the former chief investment officer at Rampart, was due to testify earlier this month, but had to cancel due to illness.

Unlike many on Wall Street, Markopolos does not seem prone to schadenfreude, enjoying the downfall of a man he called a crook.

“Why would people think I feel good about this?” Markopolos asked his hometown newspaper, the Globe. “People think I’m a hero, but I didn’t stop him. He stopped himself.”


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