Can the Spiffy New SEC Catch Madoff’s Minions?

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Once known as Wall Street’s top cops fighting white collar crime, the Securities and Exchange Commission came under intense public scrutiny for failing to catch Bernard L. Madoff in the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme to which he confessed more than a year ago. In hopes of regaining some of its star power (read: dignity) the SEC announced last week that it plans to reorganize its enforcement division into specialized, topical groups and implement a new initiative that would offer rewards to those who assist SEC investigations in a substantial way.

Madoff is already behind bars, but the SEC’s metamorphosis into a make-shift prosecutor’s office may help them nail some Madoff’s relatives, friends and business associates—the people who also made out with your millions but who have not yet seen the inside of a jail cell. Check out the current issue of Mother Jones for a rundown of which Madoff crony pulled $15 million from her Madoff LLC accounts just weeks before Bernie’s “confession,” which minion used his company card to invest in a hair blow-drying salon, and a whole host of other outrageous details that will reignite your passion to help the SEC put these people behind bars. 

Here’s an excerpt:

In a workplace where pricey suits were the norm, Bernie’s Marlboro-smoking right-hand man dressed in jeans and sneakers, but he was so gruff when investors called him with questions that many simply stopped calling. Frank DiPascali helped invent and perpetuate Madoff’s phony trading scheme; his take included a mansion in Bridgewater, New Jersey, a pair of Benzes in the driveway, and a monster fishing boat whose captain had his very own Madoff AmEx. The only true insider indicted as of press time—others included rubber-stamping accountant David Friehling and two IT guys charged with providing tech support for the scam—DiPascali faces up to 125 years upriver. Sentencing is set for May. In the meantime, from jail, he’s helping the FBI make sense of company records and build cases against as yet unnamed coconspirators.

Read the full piece for more on The Wife: Ruth Madoff, The Sons: Mark and Andrew Madoff, The Brother: Peter Madoff, The Niece: Shana Madoff, and more.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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