(Washington, DC) -- A one-time chief investment officer has delivered scathing criticism of the Securities and Exchange Commission for its handling of the Bernard Madoff case.
Harry Markopolos, former chief investment officer of Rampart Investment Management, made the comments during a hearing of a House Financial Services subcommittee.
Madoff is accused of bilking $50-billion from investors in a Ponzi scheme.
Markopolos said the fraud should have been stopped in 2000 at $7-billion when it was first uncovered.
He called the SEC "captive to the industry it regulates" and also accused it of being afraid of Madoff.
Markopolos had tried to warn regulators about Madoff's alleged illegal actions.
He blasted the SEC, saying it "continues to roar like a mouse and bite like a flea." He also told lawmakers his investigation against Madoff was "gift-wrapped" and hand-delivered to the group, but that it still chose to ignore what was taking place.
Madoff wasn't arrested until his alleged scheme was revealed by his sons to federal authorities.
He is now under house arrest at his Manhattan home.
The SEC is under scrutiny by the government for how it handled the Madoff case.
Also today, a trustee has recovered almost 950-million dollars from accused swindler Bernard Madoff's firm.
Irving Picard told a New York bankruptcy court judge the funds will go into a fund for distribution to those who lost money by investing with Madoff.
Trustee Picard is working for the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
The non-profit organization was formed by Congress to maintain a reserve fund for wronged investors.
The court-appointed trustee has recovered the funds from banks and other financial institutions.
Picard told the court Madoff's customers have until July 2nd to file a claim with the SIPC.
He was uncertain when distribution of funds to clients would begin.
(Copyright 2009 by Newsroom Solutions)