Bernard Madoff: David Becker Explains Controversy
The controversy surrounding Bernard Madoff and his fraud victims has caused former Securities and Exchange Commission General Counsel David Becker to suffer, he said.
Becker has been criticized for helping make decisions on how victims of Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme would receive recovered assets, even though his family benefited from their investment with Madoff's firm, UPI.com reported.
The Washington Post reported Friday Becker, in testimony before a joint committee on Capitol Hill, said: "I didn't think I had a conflict. I did precisely what I was supposed to do."
He also said, "This has been a dreadful experience for me."
Although the controversy flared up, Becker said before he participated in helping form decisions on recovered funds, he disclosed the possible conflict of interest to the SEC chairman and then brought up the matter with the regulator's ethics officer. Both gave him the go ahead to participate in the decisions, he said.
SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro agreed with a decision to send a substitute for Becker to a 2009 hearing on the fraud case because Becker would have had to make a public statement on his family's involvement, which would have been "likely to divert attention," from more important matters.