In 2005, Harry Markopolos sent a memo to the Securities and Exchange Commission titled, "The World's Largest Hedge Fund Is a Fraud."
The SEC didn't listen.
It seems Markopolos was onto Bernie Madoff's case much earlier than most. He says he discovered that Madoff was a fraudster in 2000, after just five minutes of looking into his records. In late 1999, Markopolos' boss at the investment firm he worked for asked him to analyze the Madoff fund to see how they might replicate its stunning returns. But, of course, Markopolos soon discovered that his firm could not replicate the fund's performance, no one could at least not legally. He first notified the SEC in May 2000. "I didn't even get a thank you," Markopolos told The Daily Show's Jon Stewart on March 8, 2010. But the SEC's dismissal of his claims did not stop him from his pursuit. Markopolos eventually quit his job, hired a team to track Madoff across two continents and continued to send notifications to the SEC for a total of eight-and-a-half years. Notices that he said kept getting more serious and more dire as the years progressed. "I'm so angry, I can't tell you how angry I am," he told Stewart.
Markopolos further expresses his anger in a book called No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller released earlier this month. He is currently on a book tour.