The Bernie Madoff Whistleblower
It took five minutes for Harry Markopolos to figure out that Bernard Madoff was a fraud. But it took him nearly ten years to get the SEC – and the world – to accept the difficult truth...that the man regarded as the foremost investor of our time was actually behind the largest case of investor fraud in history. Thanks to Harry’s persistent flag waving and years of covert communications with the SEC, the veil covering Madoff’s “financial magic” was eventually lifted, revealing an intricate $65 Billion Ponzi scheme built on equal parts deception and SEC ineptitude, and making Harry Markopolos a true hero for the ages. A story you must hear to believe, Harry and his amazing journey have been featured on 60 Minutes, in The Wall Street Journal and in the documentary Chasing Madoff. Read More >
Who Is Harry Markopolos?
On the Today Show
No One Would Listen
CNNMoney: From Madoff to Medical Fraud
Markopolos will impart lessons that had to be relearned by capital markets due-diligence professionals, accountants, and regulators who forgot them all during the boom years that left them unprepared for the Mortgage Backed Securities fiasco and Bernie Madoff. Every sector of the financial services industry failed during both scandals and, unbelievably, it turned out no one was doing the job they said they were doing. Read More >
Most due diligence is a set of check-the-box questions that fraudsters know how to respond to. If that weren't bad enough, control systems are static while fraudsters are constantly improving and thinking of ways to circumvent whatever safeguards you were smart enough to implement in the past. Tragically, the financial services industry is its own worst enemy, driven by foolish fads destined to end in disaster as bad money and loosening credit standards drive out good money and sound lending standards. Large financial institutions are not much different than lemmings in search of the next cliff to jump off of. Big frauds are glaringly easy to spot if you simply ask "does this make any sense?" Read Less ^
Markopolos will provide a riveting, behind the scenes presentation on how his four-person investigative team tracked Madoff and the Madoff Feeder Funds throughout Europe and North America over an eight and a half year timeframe – while repeatedly submitting detailed reports to the US SEC, which refused to listen. He will explain the red flags, warning signs, and the audit steps you need to know so this doesn't happen to your organization.
How did the entire system of checks and balances fail for that many decades in the $65 billion Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme? Banks, investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds, endowments, and regulators of all stripes failed to exhibit even a modicum of professional skepticism. Big 4, regional, and local accounting firms also failed to exhibit professional skepticism despite numerous red flags and unintelligible account statements. The multi-billion dollar Madoff firm’s auditor was a one-man accounting firm yet raised no suspicions. How did Madoff game the SEC exam and enforcement teams? How did the complicit feeder funds game their own audits? Where were the accountants at the so-called independent third party administrators? How does an audit team know it’s being played? How can auditors recognize they’re being manipulated and challenge their audit clients in order to protect themselves and stakeholders from blown audits and the resulting lawsuits? Read More >
Obviously the accounting firms that did Madoff-related audits can’t talk because they’re enmeshed in pre-trial litigation, so hear from Harry Markopolos, the Madoff whistleblower, for his observations on how Madoff got away with his fraud scheme and fooled so many for so long. What he has to say will have you either crying or laughing or maybe even both at the same time. Read Less ^
"He did an amazing job for us!! The students and the executives said he was so personable and gave a great speech. He spent a lot of one-on-one time with our group and was gracious with our guests and our staff. He is super easy to work with and a thoughtful person."
"Harry’s speech was very well received by all of our attendees, noted by the fact that we had to add tables to the luncheon and it was a standing room only crowd. We appreciate Mr. Markopolos’s willingness to share his knowledge and candor with PLUS members. Thank you for assisting us with landing an interesting, timely, and topical speaker for our event."
"Through your discussion our members gained greater insight into one of the most devastating examples of financial villainy perpetrated in this nation’s history and also learned innovative ways to detect fraud in their daily lives…thank you for sharing this amazing cautionary tale."
"He was absolutely phenomenal! The Q&A session was lively. Afterwards, one gentleman said to me 'This was the best forum I’ve been to in years.'"
"Bringing Harry Markopolos to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was a huge success! It was a great speech that really hit home with its relevance to our nation's economic situation. Mr. Markopolos doesn't call himself a hero, but regardless, he was obviously a man who stood up against the odds to do the right thing, which is a rare find in today's crumbling business world."
"Went great! Excellent attendance, great talk, very nice participation in ACFE breakfast meeting and faculty/alumni luncheon. Great person, strong message, nicely done."