Securities Regulation

$65B Madoff Ponzi Scheme May Have Begun As Early as 1984

A gigantic Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernard Madoff under the guise of a hedge fund could have gotten its start as early as 1984, reports Newsday.

According to in-court testimony Tuesday by right-hand-man Frank DiPascali Jr. as he pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and a civil filing against DiPascali that same day by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the $65 billion scam by Madoff, who is serving a 150-year prison term for the fraud, started in the 1980s. Madoff himself has said it began in the 1990s, the newspaper notes.

The Madoff fraud only came to light late last year as the stock market crashed, and the allegations that it may have begun nearly 25 years before are likely to further fuel criticism that securities watchdogs were less than diligent in pursuing red flags that could have alerted them to the scam much earlier.

Earlier related coverage: “Why Madoff Warnings Were Ignored: Regulators Had Wrong Incentives” “Madoff Made No Trades for Perhaps 13 Years, Trustee Says” “Madoff Reveals ‘Extraordinary Details’ of Scam to Plaintiffs Lawyers”

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