As the main supplier of capital to Bernard Madoff with $7bn raised for him and now evaporated
it is a fair question to ask if Andres Piedrahita of Fairfield
and his father in law (and boss) at Fairfield Walter Noel
were victims of Madoff or part of the scam. I have known Andres Piedrahita and his wife for 8 years now. Andres Piedrahita invested with me in some of my tech start ups through our mutual friend Adam Horne. So I have had enough dealings with him to at least have an opinion on this financial disaster that I would like to share with my readers. I think that it is much more likely that Andres Piedrahita and Walter Noel were victims of Madoff than his partners in crime. Indeed it seems to be the case that even Madoff children were not part of the swindle. That they themselves lost money in his "fund." After a telephone conversation with Andres this morning I heard that he and many family members including his father-in-law Walter Noel lost enormous amounts of their personal net worth in Madoff´s Ponzi Scheme
. Tragically it seems that Andres and his family took money out from many other hedge funds and recently put it with Madoff as he was one of the only hedge fund managers "doing well" this year. Now why did not Fairfield Greenwich do more due diligence and find out that Madoff was a crook? Were they happy with all the commissions they were making and did not feel like investigating? Andres answer to this question was that they did have 2 PhDs assigned to checking Madoff out and that they were simply given fraudulent data. This is probably true because even the SEC examined Madoff's operation twice and could not find anything wrong with it. I think that Madoff´s scandal is another proof that the global financial regulatory system is broken and needs serious rebuilding. Having said all this I hope that Fairfield takes the initiative and returns to their investors all their commissions they ever made selling Madoff products. They may not be able to return the funds invested but at least they should be able to return the money they made selling fraudulent products.