Today it is time for a post from the Annals of Securities Fraud. That is because Monday, December 11, 2023, marked the 15th anniversary of the arrest of Bernie Madoff in connection with one of the largest securities frauds in U.S. history. The scale of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme fraud is still, even after all of these years, just astonishing. Prosecutors estimated that the paper losses totaled nearly $65 billion, and have said they believe that the scheme defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries.  

What has been interesting in the scheme’s wake has been the efforts to recover funds to compensate Madoff’s victims. Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff’s firm, has recovered approximately $14.6 billion. And perhaps even more interesting, Picard’s recovery efforts are continuing to this day, 15 years after Madoff’s arrest, as reported in David Thomas’s December 12, 2023 Reuters article, here.Continue Reading Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme: Still Crazy After All These Years

Due to an increase in the number of enforcement actions resulting from an agency initiative during the year, the number of enforcement actions brought by the SEC against public companies was at the highest level in at least ten years, according to a recent report. The report, entitled “SEC Enforcement Activity: Public Companies and Subsidiaries Fiscal Year 2019 Update,” which can be found here, was prepared by the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business and Cornerstone Research. According to the report, the agency’s public company enforcement action monetary recoveries during the fiscal year were consistent with long-term averages.  Cornerstone Research’s November 20, 2019 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Public Company Enforcement Actions Highest in Ten Years

Both the volume of SEC enforcement activity and the level of financial recoveries increased in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2018, according to the agency’s annual enforcement activity report. The increases came after activity had been down in the prior year, the first year under the current presidential administration. However, the agency’s enforcement chiefs cautioned against placing too much weight on the numbers alone. The report contains some interesting signs of what we might expect in the current fiscal year. The SEC’s enforcement report can be found here. The agency’s November 2, 2018 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC 2018 FY Enforcement Report Shows Increased Activity, Recoveries