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Clock Ticks For Bernie Madoff

While New Year's Eve revelers will be counting down the old year tomorrow, the clock at the SEC will be ticking for self-confessed Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff.

Madoff, who told his sons earlier this month that his investment fund defrauded clients to the tune of as much as $50 billion, faces a Wednesday deadline to hand over all he knows about his bogus dealings to the SEC.

Most maddeningly for Madoff's ruined investors -- and those of us in the press -- the filing will be what the SEC terms a "non-public" one, so we won't know, at least right off, the scope of Madoff's legerdemain.

Then there is the question of credibility: Why should the SEC -- or anyone -- believe anything Madoff has to say or file regarding his sprawling scandal?

After all, this was not a one-time grift. In the business, what Madoff executed is called the "long con," or a complex swindle that involves a con man cozying up to his mark and gaining his confidence over a period of week, months or, in Madoff's case, years.

Federal investigators are already poring over Madoff's seized records and reportedly finding that he stashed millions of his ill-gotten loot in offshore accounts.

The feds will now compare Madoff's SEC filing with what they've found out on their own.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 30, 2008; 1:53 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff, SEC  
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Next: It's the SEC's Turn to Get Grilled on Capitol Hill

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