A month ago, Harry Markopolos was an accountant unknown outside Boston's financial community.
Now the slight, bookish 52-year-old from Whitman is under siege. Christmas week, he spent Monday being interviewed by "60 Minutes," Tuesday preparing to testify in Washington, and Wednesday sorting through pitches from book authors and movie producers. His mother-in-law now answers the door at his suburban stucco house and shoos away the reporters who knock at all hours.
The man who spent nearly a decade trying to blow the whistle on what appears to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history has achieved a kind of hero status within the investment world. He is poised to reap both fame and fortune from a disaster that has cost the investors of Bernard L. Madoff as much as $50 billion.