01/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

SEC Missed Madoff's Ponzi Scheme

U.S. regulators never inspected Bernard Madoff's investment advisory business, alleged to be a Ponzi scheme that cost investors $50 billion, after he subjected it to oversight two years ago, people familiar with the case said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission hadn't examined Madoff's books since he registered the unit with the agency in September 2006, two people said, declining to be identified because the reviews aren't public. The SEC tries to inspect advisers at least every five years and to scrutinize newly registered firms in their first year, former agency officials and securities lawyers said.


Sign up for our email.
Find out how much you really know about the state of the nation.