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It's the SEC's Turn to Get Grilled on Capitol Hill

Re. Bernie Madoff: What did the SEC know and when did it know it?

That may be the tenor of the congressional hearing scheduled for Jan. 5, as the Hill takes its first whack at the Madoff scandal, in which the trusted investment fund manager confessed to running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Critics have faulted the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to detect a multibillion-dollar scam targeting the super-wealthy and celebrities (including Kevin Bacon!) -- despite warnings from outsiders -- even as the agency apparently is able to find and shut down $23 million Ponzi schemes targeting Haitian-Americans.

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) said today that his Financial Services committee will turn a hard eye on the SEC.

"These proceedings will help us to discern whether or not the SEC had the resources needed to get the job done, how such a sizable scheme could have evaded detection for so long, and what new safeguards we need to put in place to protect investors," Kanjorksi said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, in news that may or may not be related, the SEC's top accountant in its enforcement branch is leaving the agency for a job in the private sector next month.

Susan Markel is taking a job in the corporate investigations practice of AlixPartners LLP, a turnaround consulting firm.

-- Frank Ahrens

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 30, 2008; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff, SEC  
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