Bernie Madoff, who was able to evade the SEC while stealing billions of dollars for decades, did not have a high opinion of the SEC's investigative capabilities. For some reason! A 2005 phone transcript proves: Bernie was a comfortable crook.
Madoff was recorded advising a guy from the Fairfield Greenwich Group how to evade the SEC. It's enough to make you think that Madoff had something to hide.
"You know, you don't have to be too brilliant with these guys, because you don't have to be," Madoff said, referring to SEC investigators.
Because they are none too bright, you see. If the questions got tough, Madoff advised, just start joking around with the SEC guys—hey, whoa, you guys writing a book here or something? Haha. Works every time!
At one point, Madoff interrupted the conversation to take another phone call. He returned and said, "I'm sorry. If I get any more solicitations for charity, I'm going to kill myself."
At least he's solved that problem now.