Madoff investigator heading downunder

Last updated 13:54 06/12/2012

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Crooks beware: The man who helped put American ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff behind bars for 150 years is coming to New Zealand.

Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos will speak at a Serious Fraud Office seminar in February about his nine-year investigation of Madoff's wealth management business which was eventually exposed as the largest financial fraud in United States history.

He will be joined by two FBI fraud investigators involved in investigating the insider trading activities of Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta the investigation into R. Allen Stanford's US$7 billion Ponzi scheme.

A fourth international speaker, Commander Stephen Head from the London Police's Economic Crime Directorate, will describe recent changes to the structure of fraud investigations in the United Kingdom.

The SFO will also host the Economic Crime Agency Network's [ECAN] conference on the following two days in Auckland for members' attendance only. The seminar Markopolos is speaking at is open to the public.

"Over the past two years the SFO has dealt with six actual or alleged Ponzi schemes," said SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley.

"While those have been of varying sizes and impact, the total losses involved will likely exceed $500 million.

"The presentation from Harry Markopolos is timely given the recent conviction in the B'On case and the suspicions around Ross Asset Management."

In October Jacqueline Bradley was sentenced to seven years and five months' imprisonment following conviction on 75 Crimes Act charges as a result of an SFO prosecution.

Bradley was a director of B'On Financial Services (B'On) which she ran with her late husband.

B'On sought funds from clients on the pretext of investing in various funds but the money, totalling $14.4m, was instead used to make repayments to other investors and to fund the Bradley’s personal lifestyle.

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