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Madoff Whistleblower Talks Ethics

Harry Markopolos, who gained fame for alerting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the Bernie Madoff fraud, spoke at the University last spring as part of the Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics.

Sponsored by the Krannert School and the College of Education’s James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, the April presentation offered highlights from Markopolos’ bestselling book, “No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller,” which details Madoff’s $65 billion investment fraud that bilked thousands of investors worldwide.

Markopolos, who left Wall Street in 2004 to devote his efforts full-time to investigations against Fortune 500 companies in the financial services and health care industries, brings fraud cases to the U.S. Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service under existing whistleblower bounty programs.

The Madoff investigation, which Markopolos started in early 2000, was his first fraud case. He testified before Congress that the SEC ignored his warnings about Madoff’s fraud for years. In March 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts, admitting that he turned his investment business into a Ponzi scheme.

“This nation’s financial regulators sat comatose on the sidelines while the banks, shadow banks, insurance companies, mortgage lenders and Madoff were engaged in their crime sprees,” Markopolos charged. “None of them noticed anything was going on.”

Sponsored by the Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union and Karl and Kathy Krapek, the Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics features speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines who discuss business ethics and the role citizens play in corporate ethics, providing an overview of the impact of corporate ethics on business, the economy and society as a whole.