Have you ever wondered what Ira Sorkin, Bernie Madoff's lawyer, was doing when he got the call that his client's business wasn't entirely legit, per se? Wonder no longer:
"I'm sitting in [my granddaughter's pre-schoo] class and these children, two-and-a-half-year-olds, are standing around, pretending that they're on a farm," Sorkin said. "And the teacher is asking, 'what sounds do you hear on a farm?' Like a cow, moo-moo, and a duck, quack-quack. "And I'm hearing all these animal sounds, and all the kids laughing and applauding, and my cell phone rings. And it's Bernie Madoff. And he tells me that he's been arrested by the FBI. He's handcuffed to a chair. He needs my help. And in the background, I'm hearing, 'moo-moo, quack-quack, oink-oink,' and I ran out of the class."
Also, if he had to defend the Ponz Master all over again, would he? You betcha, Sorkin told Scott Cohn. And while we're on the subject, the attorney is tickled by how long his clients scam was able to go on for.
Madoff himself told investigators he was amazed he did not get caught sooner, and Sorkin agrees.
"I think a real problem, which I understand is being remedied, is no one understood risk, and no one paid attention to the risk," Sorkin said. "Problem number two is, I think the examination process failed. I think if the SEC had asked perhaps four questions, this could have ended much earlier."