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Business Briefing / Regulation

SEC lawyer with Madoff link opens up

September 05, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The Securities and Exchange Commission official who later would marry Bernard L. Madoff's niece told investigators this year that if he had carefully reviewed a complaint about the since-disgraced financier's business, he would have investigated more deeply, a new report shows.

The admission by Eric Swanson, who was an SEC lawyer and inspection official during a 2003-04 exam of Madoff's business, is among the revelations in a 457-page report by the SEC's inspector general, David Kotz. A summary of the report came out this week.

Kotz found no evidence that the relationship between Swanson and Madoff's niece, Shana, who got married in 2007, influenced the inspection of Madoff. But it "was put on the back burner" even though the exam team had unresolved questions, according to the report, which details how SEC probes of Madoff over 16 years were bungled.

Among other disclosures: Madoff feared that he had been caught when SEC investigators asked him in May 2006 which account he used to clear certain trades. But the investigators never tried to verify the account number he gave them. "I got away lucky," Madoff told Kotz in a prison interview.

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