Investigator Details Bernie Madoff’s Relationship With Organized Crime
Ponzi scheme financier Bernard Madoff should feel fortunate that he got nabbed when he did. Now under house arrest in his $7 million Manhattan penthouse, he could be lying in a pine box, six feet under if some of the people he crossed got their hands on him.
Former funds manager Harry Markopolos told a House Financial Services subcommittee on Feb. 4 that Madoff had cheated some extremely dangerous figures out of millions of dollars.
“Mr. Madoff was running such a large scheme of unimaginable size and complexity, and he had a lot of dirty money,” Markopolos testified. “Let me describe dirty money to you. When you’re that big and you’re that secretive, you’re going to attract a lot of organized crime money, which we now know came from the Russian mob and the Latin American drug cartel. When you’re zeroing out mobsters, you have a lot of fear. He could not afford to get caught, because once he got caught. . . .”
Markopolos switched course to address his own fears of being murdered ifMadoff learned of his investigation:
“If he would’ve known my name and knew he had a team tracking him, I didn’t think I was long for this world. Mr. Madoff was one of the most powerful men on Wall Street, and he was in a position to end our careers, or worse.” He continued, “Mr. Madoff was already facing life in prison if he were caught, so he’d face little to no downside to removing whatever threats he felt we posed. My team and I surmised that if Mr. Madoff gained knowledge of our activities, he might feel threatened enough to seek to stifle us.”
As his research continued over a 10-year period, Markopolos found that Madoff’s operation rivaled the infamous BCCI scandal of the 1980s and 1990s. In addition to his association with Russian oligarchs and Colombian drug lords, Madoff was also linked to high-society stockbroker Robert M. Jaffe (now under investigation by Massachusetts security regulators and linked to New England mobster Gennaro Angiulo),
Cayman Island money launderers, and corrupt pro-Israel financiers Sy Syms and Jacob Merkin.
Syms ran billions of dirty money through the Israeli Discount Bank of New York, while researcher Wayne Madsen wrote on January 14:
“Madoff is suspected of transferring much of his ill-gotten gain to Israeli banks, including one, Bank Leumi, that Madoff associate J. Ezra Merkin bought from the Israeli government when Ariel Sharon was prime minister and current PM Ehud Olmert was finance minister.”
Madoff was a past treasurer of the American Jewish Congress. Could these be the men Markopolos referred to when saying that Madoff “had been aided by an army of colleagues within his investment business in Manhattan”?
Government regulators still refused to act. “The SEC had enough to get Madoff,” Markopolos said. “I drew them pictures. I gave them a road map. I told them what questions to ask and who to phone.”
While hundreds of people lost their life savings, Wall Street continued its “code of silence.” In turn, the banking cartel’s elite pressured their subordinates to turn a blind eye. Former SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins confessed, “We were actively discouraged from going after Ponzi schemes, pump-and-dump schemes, and things that were considered small cases. Actively discouraged by our superiors.”
Markopolos said the SEC didn’t listen to his warnings because, “they’re too in-bed with the large derivative traders and investment banks. People lost money because they had faith in government.” The syndicate is flourishing between Washington and Wall Street.
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and the author of
many books on 9-11 and the New World Order. These include 9-11 Evil:
The Israeli Role in 9-11 and Phantom Flight 93.
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(Issue # 8, February 23, 2009)