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SEC criticised over handling Bernard Madoff fraud

3rd September 2009

There was never a 'thorough and competent investigation' of Bernard Madoff despite 'ample information' provided prior to his arrest, it has been claimed.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has come under fire in a report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) David Kotz, who indicates there were plenty of opportunities to act early on.

In his executive summary of the report, he points to 'six substantive complaints' that raised 'significant red flags' concerning the billionaire's hedge fund operations.

Mr Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for committing Wall Street's biggest investment fraud, in which he ran a pyramid Ponzi scheme with investors' funds.

Three examinations and two investigations were conducted, in addition to the six red flags, which should have led to questions about whether Mr Madoff was actually engaged in trading, according to the report.

The report also indicates that the SEC was tipped off about potential fraud by the business man as early as 1992.

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