As (the original) Fake Walt points out below, Frontline’s story on Bernie Madoff and Fairfield Greenwich Group’s involvement in the fraud was entirely inaccurate and false, in so far as it related to FGG’s participation, so, according to this press release, we should all give up and go home, after issuing a nice apology to Walt. If they say so it must be true, so apology duly noted. I remain just a tad skeptical, though, and I’m not entirely convinced that this bit is going to take FGG completely off the hook:
The Frontline program contained several other stark errors, as well. For example:
- Frontline inaccurately portrayed a December 2005 call between Madoff and FGG personnel, in preparation for an interview with the SEC. Frontline failed to disclose that, prior to the call, FGG had requested permission from the SEC to speak with Madoff, and that FGG people discussed the Madoff call with the SEC afterward. Most important, records clearly show that FGG personnel responded truthfully to all of the SEC’s questions.
- Frontline erroneously portrayed an on-site visit to Madoff’s office by FGG executive Jeffrey Tucker, implying thatTucker never received verification of Madoff’s trading. In fact, Tucker was shown an electronic screen with DTC records of Fairfield client trades.
- Frontline erroneously reported that FGG’s due diligence operation was located solely in Bermuda. In fact, as Frontline producers were informed, FGG professionals actively monitored the investment with Madoff and conducted due diligence both in Bermuda and at the firm’s New York headquarters.
Look: Ican certainly understand how a genuine “electronic screen” could fool even a trained investor – happens to me all the time – why, just last fall, I saw a Patriot fumble on the five yard line and I tried to pick up the ball through my plasma screen and run it in for a touchdown. Boy, was my face ever red! But I wonder whether the defrauded investors will be so understanding. They should be, of course, but sometimes, when $7.5 billion is lost, people just aren’t as kind as they otherwise might be.