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Latest update : 2008-12-18

The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), the US financial regulatory body, announced on Tuesday that it was opening an investigation into its own near decade-long failure to discover Bernard Madoff's alleged fraud case.

AFP - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US financial regulatory body, said Tuesday it would launch an in-house investigation into why it did not detect the massive Bernard Madoff alleged fraud case sooner after almost a decade of warning signs.
The SEC "has learned that credible and specific allegations regarding Mr. Madoff’s financial wrongdoing, going back to at least 1999, were repeatedly brought to the attention of SEC staff, but were never recommended to the Commission for action," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in a statement.
Madoff, 70, is the alleged mastermind of a 50-billion-dollar fraud shaking financial institutions worldwide.
"I am gravely concerned by the apparent multiple failures over at least a decade to thoroughly investigate these allegations," Cox said.
"A consequence of the failure to seek a formal order of investigation from the Commission is that subpoena power was not used to obtain information," Cox said, "but rather staff relied upon information voluntarily produced by Mr. Madoff and his firm."
Cox said he has "directed a full and immediate review of the past allegations regarding Mr. Madoff and his firm and the reasons they were not found credible, to be led by the SEC's Inspector General."
Madoff is free on a 10-million-dollar bond, but will be in court Tuesday to establish whether he has met bail conditions set after his arrest last week.

Date created : 2008-12-17