Madoff’s $50 Billion Scam Included Buying Influence in Washington

Within a day of the Dec. 11 arrest of Wall Street financier Bernard L. Madoff, his Washington lobbyists were scrambling to sever all ties to a man who’s been accused of a $50 billion fraud and who may go down in history as the largest financial scam artist ever.

The lobbying firm Dow Lohnes Government Strategies filed paperwork on Dec. 12, terminating its lobbying contract with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. That ended more than 10 years of Madoff lobbying in Washington, in which his investment firm spent more than $400,000 to influence the federal government.

By Eamon Javers, Lisa Lerer
Politico

Bernard L. Madoff, the Chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, ... 
Bernard L. Madoff, the Chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, is seen speaking in 2007.(Philoctetes Center/Handout/Reuters)

But lobbying is just a piece of Madoff’s influence in Washington. His family has contributed nearly $400,000 to political committees. And his niece, Shana Madoff Swanson, who serves as a compliance attorney at his firm, is married to a former high-ranking Securities and Exchange Commission official, Eric Swanson.

Swanson was the assistant director in the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ market oversight unit in Washington. According to his biography, Swanson “supervised and conducted inspections and examinations that involved a wide range of issues including best execution, order handling, insider trading [and] market manipulation.”

The SEC has come under criticism for not following up on tips….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081216/pl_politico/16608

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