Madoff 'n' Jeff

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Dec. 17 2008 5:34 PM

Madoff 'n' Jeff

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Bernie Madoff, a much-respected Wall Street investment adviser and former NASDAQ chairman, was arrested last week after he confessed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he'd committed securities fraud. Madoff told the FBI that his 50-year-old company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, had been running a "giant Ponzi scheme" for years and that there was "no innocent explanation." The company has been placed in receivership.

Investigators for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI, and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation will surely have a few questions for the company's accountant, Friehling & Horowitz—a small tax-preparation firm located in a shopping center in tiny  New City, N.Y.—about the $1.3 billion in assets that David Friehling signed off on in December 2006. At least one hedge-fund adviser,  Aksia LLC, had last year warned clients that Friehling & Horowitz, which had only "three employees, of [whom] one was 78 years old and living in Florida [and] one was a secretary," seemed a peculiar choice given "the scope of Madoff's activities."

Advertisement

The two companies were, indeed, an odd match. On the Madoff Investment Securities  Web site (Pages 2-4), which has now been removed and replaced with a trustee notice, the Wall Street powerhouse boasted of being "one of the first U.S. members of the London Stock exchange." Friehling led a more provincial life, delightedly relating last year in the "Trusted Professional,"a newsletter for certified public accountants, that while touring Europe last year he and his wife foiled potential pickpockets by relying on a prepaid debit card rather than cash (below). "Although the seascape and the historical sites differ dramatically from those in the U.S.," Friehling wrote, "we are all operating in a 21st-century economy. When exiting ruins that are over 2,500 years old, there you find it: the bank ATM!"

Please send suggestions for Hot Document to documents@slate.com.

1_123125_2137821_2180654_2203776_2206989_madoffsauditor1

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 11:57 AM Why Wasn't the WHO Ready for Ebola?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 3:06 PM Writer William Giraldi Wishes Everyone Would Please Stop Likening Him to a Literary Genius
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 2:59 PM Netizen Report: Twitter Users Under Fire in Mexico, Venezuela, Turkey
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.