Whistleblower document warned SEC in Nov. 2005 about Madoff’s Ponzi scheme

Pam Martens worked on Wall Street for 21 years; she has no security position, long or short, in any company mentioned in this article:

I seldom have the urge to give a comforting pat on the back to people profiled in the Wall Street Journal.  But that was my reaction when I read the 21-page whistleblower document about Madoff that was written by Harry Markopolos to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 7, 2005. The Journal still has the document on its web site and Markopolos provides a step by step plan for the SEC to follow to nail Madoff as a Ponzi fraudster. The letter followed a five-year effort by Markopolos, who supplied documentation and made repeated requests to the SEC to investigate Madoff.

Here’s how the SEC characterized the letter from Markopolos  in a January 4, 2006 memo: “The staff received a complaint alleging that Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, a registered broker-dealer in New York (“BLM”), operates an undisclosed multi-billion dollar investment advisory business, and that BLM operates this business as a Ponzi scheme.  The complaint did not contain specific facts about the alleged Ponzi scheme…”

Here’s a tiny sampling of what Markopolos told the SEC in his 21-page November 7, 2005 letter.  You decide if these are “specific facts.”

“I am a derivatives expert and have traded or assisted in the trading of several billion $US in options strategies for hedge funds and institutional clients…(Highly Likely) Madoff Securities is the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme…The [Madoff] family runs what is effectively the world’s largest hedge fund with estimated assets under management of at least $20 billion to perhaps $50 billion…The third parties organize the hedge funds and obtain investors but 100% of the money raised is actually managed by Madoff Investment Securities, LLC in a purported hedge fund strategy.  The investors that pony up the money don’t know that BM [Bernie Madoff] is managing their money…Some prominent US based hedge fund, fund of funds, that “invest” in BM in this manner include: A. Fairfield Sentry Limited (Arden Asset Management) which had $5.2 billion invested in BM as of May 2005…Access International Advisors…which had $450 million invested with BM as of mid-2002…Tremont Capital Management, Inc…Tremont oversees on an advisory and fully discretionary basis over $10.5 billion in assets.  Clients include institutional investors, public and private pension plans, ERISA plans, university endowments, foundations, and financial institutions, as well as high net worth individuals…Madoff does not allow outside performance audits.  One London based hedge fund, fund of funds, representing Arab money, asked to send in a team of Big 4 accountants to conduct a performance audit during their planned due diligence.  They were told ‘No, only Madoff’s brother-in-law who owns his own accounting firm is allowed to audit performance’…Only Madoff family members are privy to the investment strategy.  Name one other prominent multi-billion dollar hedge fund that doesn’t have outside, non-family professionals involved in the investment process.  You can’t because there aren’t any…There are too many red flags to ignore.  REFCO, Wood River, the Manhattan Fun, Princeton Economics, and other hedge fund blow ups all had a lot fewer red flags than Madoff and look what happened at those places…”

Here is what the SEC’s memo of November 21, 2007 said following its investigation:

“The staff found no evidence of fraud…All files have been prepared for closing…Termination letters have been sent to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, Bernard L. Madoff, and Fairfield Greenwich Group.  The staff has no objection to the eventual destruction of the files and has no knowledge of any impediment to such a disposition.”

Let me run that by you again.  Mr. Markopolos, a private citizen, uses his personal time and energy over a seven year period to document a fraud occurring under the nose of the SEC that could impact the international reputation of the United States along with the financial well being of pensioners, university endowments, foundations and private investors.  After losing track of the case for five years, the SEC finally gets around to investigating using taxpayers’ monies.  They come up with nothing despite being given a perfect path to follow to the fraud.  And their final suggestion for dealing with the investigation is to destroy the files!  With regulators like these, who needs Ponzi artists?

Read moreWhistleblower document warned SEC in Nov. 2005 about Madoff’s Ponzi scheme

Hundreds of Brazil’s eco-warriors at risk of assassination

  • Study marks 20 years since Mendes murder
  • Environmentalists divided over activist’s legacy

Twenty years after the killing of Chico Mendes, one of the world’s most prominent rainforest defenders, hundreds of human rights and environmental activists still face the threat of assassination in Brazil, a new study claims.

The report, compiled by Brazil’s Catholic Land Commission (CPT) and due to be released in full early next year, reveals that at least 260 people, among them a Catholic bishop, live under the threat of murder because of their fight against a coalition of loggers, farmers and cattle ranchers.

The list names Frei Henri des Rosiers, a French priest based in the Amazon town of Xinguara, as a particular target. Police are investigating claims he has a £14,000 price on his head because of his fight against slave labour. Also named are Maria José Dias da Costa, a union leader in the remote town of Rondon do Pará, and an Austrian bishop, Dom Erwin Krautler, who has been under 24-hour police guard for two years because of his battle against developers and child prostitution in his Amazonian diocese.

In February this year, Francisco da Silva, a 51-year-old leader of the landless movement in the Amazon, was killed with a single shot to the head. He had been named in a previous CPT report about rural leaders receiving death threats.

Read moreHundreds of Brazil’s eco-warriors at risk of assassination

Hans Blix Would Testify Against Bush-Cheney War Crimes

On their History Rewrite Tour, Bush and Cheney insist the pre-war intelligence about Iraq’s WMD’s was bad and they were innocent dupes.

Of course we all know the truth from the Downing Street Memos and dozens of other sources, which is that “the intelligence and facts were fixed” around the policy of invasion. And here’s one more damning piece of evidence, courtesy of Roads to Iraq. (The Aljazeera link is in Arabic – someone needs to translate it.)

In an interview with Aljazeera today, former Chief of the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq told the TV that he and the Head of the IAEA “Mohamed Al-Baradei” were subjected to direct threats from Dick Cheney before the war.

Blix said that Cheney threatened to defame both men’s reputations if they didn’t came with the “required” answers.

It’s the same story from everyone else – Bush and Cheney demanded pro-war lies under one threat or another – being defamed, getting fired, and even outing covert CIA operatives. The Bush Administration was nothing more than a mafia operation.

But here’s the good part:

Blix also added that he is ready to be a witness on the United States’ false allegations before an International tribunal.

You go, Hans!

Submitted by Bob Fertik on December 21, 2008

Source: Democrats.com

SEC ignored Madoff warnings for 10 years

The world’s biggest fraud could have been averted if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had acted on numerous warnings about Bernard Madoff’s financial impropriety years ago, the regulator’s chairman admitted last night.

Christopher Cox, the chairman of the SEC, effectively admitted mea culpa over the scandal after conceding that tip-offs were repeatedly made to the investors’ watchdog but never resulted in any investigation.

Related article: SEC Official Married into Madoff Family

Mr Cox said that in less than a week of checks made into the regulator’s oversight of investment businesses run by Bernard Madoff, he had found that “credible and specific allegations” had been “repeatedly” brought to the attention of the SEC but that no recommendations had ever been made to investigate the accusations.

The admission comes a week after Bernard Madoff, a 70 year old financier, admitted to his two sons that he was “finished” and that his investment firm was nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme.

Related article: ‘PONZI SCHEME’ AT CITIGROUP

He also admitted to his sons, who worked for him, that he believed that losses arising from his financial wrong-doing amounted to around $50 billion, representing the biggest fraud in history.

Related article:
Madoff put under house arrest – in $7m apartment (That is called justice.)

His investment firm, which has since been forced into liquidation, has triggered billions of dollars worth of losses among the world’s biggest financial institutions, charities, state pension schemes, and personal savings.

Read moreSEC ignored Madoff warnings for 10 years

Paul Craig Roberts: Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS:
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

“On October 21 (1948) the Government of Israel took a decision that was to have a lasting and divisive effect on the rights and status of those Arabs who lived within its borders: the official establishment of military government in the areas where most of the inhabitants were Arabs.”
Martin Gilbert, Israel: A History

I had given up on finding an American with a moral conscience and the courage to go with it and was on the verge of retiring my keyboard when I met the Rev. Thomas L. Are.

Rev. Are is a Presbyterian pastor who used to tell his Atlanta, Georgia, congregation: “I am a Zionist.” Like most Americans, Rev. Are had been seduced by Israeli propaganda and helped to spread the propaganda among his congregation.

Around 1990 Rev. Are had an awakening for which he credits the Christian Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and author Marc Ellis, co-editor of the book, Beyond Occupation.

Realizing that his ignorance of the situation on the ground had made him complicit in great crimes, Rev. Are wrote a book hoping to save others from his mistake and perhaps in part to make amends, Israeli Peace/Palestinian Justice, published in Canada in 1994.

Rev. Are researched his subject and wrote a brave book. Keep in mind that 1994 was long prior to Walt and Mearsheimer’s recent book, which exposed the power of the Israel Lobby and its ability to control the explanation Americans receive about the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Read morePaul Craig Roberts: Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?

Madoff Scheme Was ‘Impossible’ to Do Alone, Says EIM’s Busson

Yes, it is impossible to do this alone. Especially because…
Unlike most hedge funds, Madoff’s business was regulated by the SEC, giving investors an added layer of protection, Busson said.

“I knew the SEC was all over this shop. As a broker-dealer, you file quarterly statements,” he said. “The main reason we got comfort is that it was SEC-regulated, and it was doing 10 percent of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.”

But here comes the next biggie: SEC failed to inspect Bernard Madoff fund (The Telegraph):
Last night Bloomberg reported that The Securities and Exchange Commission hasn’t examined the hedge fund since he registered the unit with the agency in September 2006.

So he had help. 🙂
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Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — Bernard Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme, which might have cost investors $50 billion, couldn’t have been carried out alone, said Arpad ‘Arki’ Busson, chairman and founder of Swiss investment firm EIM SA.

“For the amount of money and number of accounts, it’s practically impossible that he was doing this alone,” said Busson, whose $11.5 billion fund of hedge funds had about $230 million invested with Madoff. “What’s mind-boggling is the amount of assets and the amount of time he was doing it.”

Read moreMadoff Scheme Was ‘Impossible’ to Do Alone, Says EIM’s Busson

New Rule Expands DNA Collection to All People Arrested

Civil Rights Groups Assail Change


Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) advocates DNA collection at arrest or deportation. (2006 Photo By Melina Mara — The Washington Post)

Immigration and civil liberties groups condemned a new U.S. government policy to collect DNA samples from all noncitizens detained by authorities and all people arrested for federal crimes.

The new Justice Department rule, published Wednesday and effective Jan. 9, dramatically expands a federal law enforcement database of genetic identifiers, which is now limited to storing information about convicted criminals and arrestees from 13 states.

Congress authorized the expansion in 2005, citing the power of DNA as a tool in crime solving and prevention.

The FBI created its National DNA Index System in 1994 to store profiles of people convicted of serious violent crimes, such as rape and murder, but the system has been expanded repeatedly, first to include all convicted felons, then misdemeanants and state arrestees. The data bank contained more than 6.2 million samples as of August, and officials estimate that 61,000 cases have been solved or assisted using DNA.

The change could add as many as 1.2 million people a year to the national database, U.S. officials said. Supporters equate DNA collection to taking fingerprints or photographs at the time of booking.

Read moreNew Rule Expands DNA Collection to All People Arrested

Afghans Rape Children On Canadian Military Base

Such atrocities are ‘normal’ on planet earth: Pakistani women buried alive for choosing husbands
Human beings do net respect themselves, they do not respect others and they do not respect their planet.
This is the perfect recipe for the ultimate disaster.
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Dec 14, 2008 04:30 AM
Source: The Star

Chaplain says senior officer aware of rape by Afghans

Soldier recalls cries from boy brought onto Canadian base

The boy was no more than 12. He wore a wig, lipstick and perfume and was dressed in a flowing robe when an Afghan interpreter escorted him to the entrance of the Canadian base in remote Afghanistan.

It was June 2006 and it was one of Tyrel Braaten’s first days at Forward Operating Base Wilson, about 30 kilometres outside Kandahar.

Braaten watched as the local interpreter, who worked for the Canadians, ushered the boy through the security checkpoint and led him inside a nearby building.

The bombardier was bewildered. He asked another interpreter standing next to him who the boy was. The interpreter shrugged that the boy was one of “the bitches.”

“I said, `What do you mean?’ and he made the motion with his hips, like you know,” said Braaten, 24. “I remember saying, `Are we on Mars? Does this s— go on all the time?'”

The native of Saskatchewan is the latest soldier to come forward alleging in detail how young Afghan boys during his tour in Afghanistan in 2006 were regularly sodomized by Afghan interpreters and soldiers working alongside Canadian soldiers.

For the past four months, the Canadian Forces’ National Investigation Service, an arm’s-length military investigatory body with the power to lay criminal charges, has been probing claims that Canadian commanding officers ignored the complaints of lower-ranking soldiers about the alleged rapes.

Some soldiers have told military chaplains and medical personnel that they were instructed to disregard the sodomy because of a “cultural difference” between Canada and Afghanistan.

In a new development, Maj. Kevin Klein, a high-ranking chaplain, told the Star that a senior officer confided to him in 2007 that his soldiers were struggling to cope with the rapes. Klein has told his story to NIS investigators.

Read moreAfghans Rape Children On Canadian Military Base

LA Hospital CEO Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

LA hospital CEO pleads guilty to billing government for unnecessary care given to the homeless

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former hospital executive admitted Friday he paid a man to recruit homeless people for unnecessary medical treatment in a scheme to bilk government health programs out of millions of dollars.

Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam, who ran City of Angels Medical Center, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to paying a recruiter nearly $500,000 to find Skid Row homeless people with Medi-Cal or Medicare cards and transport them to the hospital.

In his plea agreement, which remains under seal, Sabaratnam also agreed to pay more than $4.1 million in restitution to Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Read moreLA Hospital CEO Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud