The long hours, the fake returns-- it all ate away at him pretty badly. Mostly it was the constant fear that today would be the day the rètards at the Securities and Exchange Commission would slip and fall on the boxes of files marked "This Shit Ain't Legit" scattered pretty much all over the office or that someone, anyone, would ask a brain buster that would lead them to the conclusion that the whole thing was a scam, rather than asking Bernie for recommendations on his favorite place get wings (Hooters).
Despite what Mr. Madoff described as the chronic ineptitude of the S.E.C., he said in the interview that he was "worried every time" examiners showed up.
"That was the nightmare I lived with," he said, and he told Mr. Kotz he had wanted it to end. "I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago."