The most important thing to remember if you want to fool the SEC is to act casual, Bernie Madoff told executives at Fairfield Greenwich Group. “You don't want them to think you're concerned about anything,” the Ponzi scheme mastermind said in a phone call taped in 2005, CNN reports. Most regulators are just looking to get some experience in order to work on Wall Street themselves, Madoff said. “You don't have to be too brilliant with these guys," he summed up.
Two top SEC officials today acknowledged vulnerabilities that allowed Madoff to perpetrate his fraud: “We failed in our fundamental mission to protect investors," Robert Khuzami and John Walsh said in a statement. "We pledge to continue to fix the problems that contributed to this failure.” In particular, the commission will look out for firms that try to cow junior investigators, as Madoff instructed his associates to do.