Madoff Whistleblower: I Feared For My Life


In addition to being totally wracked with guilt over failing to prevent the Madoff fraud, it seems Harry Markopolous was wracked with fear. For his life.

NYT: The man who tried unsuccessfully for almost a decade to spur federal securities regulators to investigate Bernard L. Madoff did not initially disclose his own identity to regulators because he feared for his life, according to testimony he has apparently prepared for a Congressional hearing Wednesday morning.

The witness, Harry Markopolos, will testify that Mr. Madoff “was one of the most powerful men on Wall Street and in a position to easily end our careers or worse,” and that his fund “posed great danger” to those who investigated it, based on a version of his remarks that emerged Tuesday evening.

The full text of his testimony can be found here, and in it he states that he was basically in touch with the SEC frequently for a period of 9 years. During this time, 2000-2008, he was so fearful of his safety that he would submit letters to the SEC without his name, for fear of reprisal. He puts it bluntly:

“If Mr. Madoff was facing life in prison, there was little to no downside for him to remove any such threat”

Somehow we’re thinking that when they do Madoff movie, the protagonist out to be Markopolous, feverishly hoping to prove the fraud, while his friends all think he’s become paranoid, only to get bittersweet vindication once Bernie is busted.