Madoff Stunned SEC's Young Guns

He blinded them with bling

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Where's your glitz and glamor now, Bernie?

    How did Bernie Madoff con so many government regulators while running one of the most catastrophic Ponzi schemes in recent history?

    Bling.
    A new book claims that young, inexperienced government regulators were so awestruck by Madoff’s dazzling Midtown headquarters that instead of doing their jobs and uncovering dirt, they dropped off resumes and asked how they could work there too, according the Post’s Page Six.
    “No wonder they never found anything,” Madoff firm secretary Elaine Solomon says in the book by Andrew Kirtzman, titled “Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff.”
    Solomon speaks out for the first time in the tome, which hits the stores today and sheds light on the dark secrets that took place in the Madoff offices on Third Avenue in the Lipstick Building.
    Every time Securities and Exchange Commission came looking for evidence of wrongdoing, Madoff and his associates were stunned at how young they were.
    “He and his aides were amazed at the youth and experience of the regulators showed who showed up at their door,” Kirtzman wrote.
    “They would walk in and we’d look at them and we’d say to each other, ‘What do you think their combined age is, 12?’” Solomon said. They’d send kids. I think it was their first job out of school.”
    She said they would ask, “‘Can we get jobs – can we give you our resumes?’ We’d say, ‘Send them through to our offices.’ A couple of them dropped resumes off.”
    Solomon worked for Bernard’s younger brother Peter, who allegedly did no know anything about the fraud going on.
    But Solomon said when SEC officials showed up at Madoff’s office after Bernie’s arrest, she actually recognized one of them from visits years earlier.
    “If you had done your [bleep]ing job in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this position now!” Solomon yelled at him.

    Madoff, a former Nasdaq chairman, remains behind bars with a 150-year sentence after swindling about $50 billion from investors over the course of more than a decade.

    Meanwhile, Federal prosecutors expect Madoff's  former chief financial officer to plead guilty Tuesday to criminal charges today.

    Frank DiPascali, long rumored to be cooperating with authorities, agreed to enter the plea in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors said Friday in a letter to a judge. The charges were not specified.

    On Friday, prosecutors filed a one-page notification with the court that they would charge DiPascali. Such a filing usually means that there's a plea deal and that the defendant is cooperating.

    Customers have described DiPascali, 52, as their main contact with the firm. He was the person whom they spoke with if they had questions about their accounts or wanted to add or withdraw money.

    He also has a long history with Madoff: Both come from the same part of Queens. His first job was as Madoff's assistant. He went on to hold titles in the 1980s that included director of research and director of options trading. He became the firm's chief financial officer in 1996 -- a post he held until the firm's collapse.

    Madoff has insisted that he acted alone, and only one other person — his accountant — has been charged during the seven-month investigation. But Madoff's brother and sons, who ran a trading operation under the same roof, large investors and other insiders have come under intense scrutiny, and the FBI has said it expects more arrests before it concludes the probe.

    Bradly Simon, a former federal prosecutor now in criminal defense, said it's likely DiPascali has been giving investigators inside information from the start on other potential defendants.

    After Madoff's arrest late last year, DiPascali "suddenly dropped out of sight," Simon said. "It's obvious that they got to him early." The probable plea deal, he added, signals "more indictments are coming, and probably quite soon."