Ponzi Schemer's Label-Whoring Niece Married SEC Lawyer

Shana Madoff, whose uncle Bernie Madoff stands accused of defrauding investors of $50 billion, is the wife of Eric Swanson, a former top lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission. A goy, but well-placed!

So well-placed that SEC chairman Christopher Cox is now elaborately raising his eyebrows about the relationship — especially since Shana Madoff worked as the compliance lawyer at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, and met Swanson at a trade association event. (Can you imagine what a swinging scene that was?)

Swanson resigned from the SEC in 2006, and the couple married in 2007. But they clearly dated for a while before that.

Some have suggested that Shana Madoff is a "shopaholic." So not technically true! Why, she married the manager of a men's clothing store in 1997, but that didn't work out. A 2004 New York profile detailed her simultaneous affection for Narciso Rodriguez and aversion to actually going out and shopping. Instead of trying on clothes at the store, she had salespeople messenger the entire collection to her office, and charge her only for what she didn't return. The article mentions her having a boyfriend. Was that Swanson, whom one SEC colleague said conducted a review of Madoff's firm in 1999 and 2004?

A spokesman for Swanson — they get flacks quickly these days, don't they — told ABC News that he "did not participate in any inquiry of Bernard Madoff Securities or its affiliates while involved" with Shana Madoff. How convenient!

But that could be said about pretty much all of his coworkers. The SEC first fielded complaints about the Madoff firm in 1999, but never opened a formal investigation that would have allowed it to subpoena records. In 2006, Bernard Madoff registered as an investment advisor with the SEC, but the agency never conducted a standard review. Are you beginning to get a picture of why Shana Madoff, who was charged with keeping the company out of trouble with regulators, was so busy she couldn't even go shopping?

(Photo via New York)