Bernie Madoff ran the largest financial fraud in history, but may one day soon see his crimes eclipsed by another Ponzi schemer. That is according to Harry Markopolos, the forensic accounting and financial fraud investigator who uncovered Madoff’s gigantic scam.
Markopolos said he is currently investigating three major Ponzi schemes, including one that he says will be even worse than Madoff’s. “You can’t stop them,” he said.
Markopolos uncovered evidence of Madoff’s sprawling scheme and reported it to the Securities Exchange Commission in 2000. The federal agency ignored his warnings. The scam unraveled eight years later, costing investors around the world billions of dollars.
Though he has been heralded around the world as a sleuth able to penetrate sophisticated securities fraud schemes, Markopolos says he has never gotten joy out of the Madoff case. “It’d be impossible, given what happened to the victims and given how many lives were destroyed.”
Estimates of the financial damage caused by Madoff vary, but a number of sources say the total is approximately $65 billion. For perspective, note ABC News says that the second largest Ponzi scheme – run by former real estate speculator Allen Stanford – is said to have cost more than 20,000 investors $7 billion.
Both Stamford and Madoff have been sentenced to serve decades in prison; sentences that are likely to serve as lifelong punishments. Many investors in their schemes face lifelong punishment as well, having lost life savings, retirement savings, homes and more.
The first step in recovering assets lost to stockbrokers and others engaging in securities fraud is to sit down with a Lexington securities arbitration and litigation law firm, so that you can learn what options you have and how best to pursue compensation.