Bernie Madoff slagged the SEC in a jailhouse interview released late yesterday, dismissing a compliance examiner looking into his firm in 2006 as a "blowhard" who "talked tough, but didn't look at anything." He said uncovering his Ponzi scheme would have been a cinch if the guy had done his job and asked for records of trades, the Wall Street Journal reports. "It's very easy if you want. You must do a third-party check. It's an absolute must," Madoff said. "It's accounting 101."
The idea of a Ponzi scheme seemed never to have occurred to compliance officers, he told SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz. Madoff said he worried every time the SEC came around, and was astonished when they repeatedly dropped investigations, saying he wished he had been caught six or eight years ago. "I got myself in a terrible situation," Madoff told Kotz. "It's a nightmare."