Investigator Details Bernie Madoff’s Relationship With Organized Crime

Ponzi scheme financier Bernard Madoff should feel fortunate that he got nabbed when he did. Now under house arrest in his $7 million Manhattan penthouse, he could be lying in a pine box, six feet under if some of the people he crossed got their hands on him.

Former funds manager Harry Markopolos told a House Financial Services subcommittee on Feb. 4 that Madoff had cheated some extremely dangerous figures out of millions of dollars.

“Mr. Madoff was running such a large scheme of unimaginable size and complexity, and he had a lot of dirty money,” Markopolos testified. “Let me describe dirty money to you. When you’re that big and you’re that secretive, you’re going to attract a lot of organized crime money, which we now know came from the Russian mob and the Latin American drug cartel. When you’re zeroing out mobsters, you have a lot of fear. He could not afford to get caught, because once he got caught. . . .”

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