Bernie Madoff's accountant pleaded guilty today regarding his involvement in the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Bloomberg has the scoop
on the guilty plea from David Friehling, who indicated he failed to execute the required independent investigation into Bernard Madoff Investment Securities
magazine reviews an account of the Madoff debacle, Too Good to be True: the Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff
, in the November issue. Book author Erin Arvedlund indicates Madoff's auditor operated out of a small office with a minimal staff, including Friehling. The operation's accountants, Arvedlund said, were not peer-reviewed.
The latest news around the investment scheme comes in the months after the scandal began to unwind in large financial settlements.
Spanish lender Banco Santander
earlier this year paid out a $235m legal settlement, just one of the multi-million-dollar settlements paid to Madoff's customers. Reuters
, which had the details
, indicated the legal claim was against Santander's Geneva-based hedge fund Optimal Investment Securities
In the months following the financial fallout from Madoff, regulators and market observers are on the look-out for the next big Ponzi scheme. So intense is the hunt for fraudulent schemes that courts are beginning to freeze assets where Ponzi-like schemes are suspected.
A recent emergency court order, for example, froze assets held by defendants in an ongoing case by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(CFTC) against Raleigh Capital Management of Chicago and its sole principal, Richmond Hamilton Jr. The CFTC's complaint alleges RCM and Hamilton misappropriated more than $1m from commodity pool the Raleigh Fund, according to industry reports.
The background leading up to the Madoff debacle, as authored by Arvedlund, are now available to HW subscribers
, but book reviewer Jacob Gaffney ends his piece with a reflection on one of the most significant fraudulent schemes ever pulled off.
HW's Gaffney notes: "[W]hile [Madoff] may have been the first to reach such heights with his Ponzi scheme, it is unlikely he will be the record holder forever."