Apparently, there were many red flags that might have tipped people off to Bernie Madoff's fraud. Yet despite eight SEC investigations in the last sixteen years, he was not caught.
I wonder how many other large hedge funds or investment advisers have some of these:
A huge business audited by a tiny accounting firm.
The same firm acting as adviser, manager, custodian, and clearing agent.
No fees charged for managing money (only for trading).
Consistent 10%-20% returns every year.
Over 90% profitable quarters.
Large political donations. Note that while most big donors are not crooks, almost all big frauds are big donors: Enron, Worldcom, Fannie Mae, Madoff.
I haven't seen hedge fund historical information online, but I wonder how many existing hedge funds have been profitable every year and almost every quarter.
Are any of these returns remarkably consistent as well? Inquiring minds want to know.
UPDATE: BTW, I do some of my trading through a Fidelity brokerage account, and I remember seeing that they did some of their trading of my orders through Madoff Investments, particularly, if I recall correctly, on after-market orders. A few months ago I got a couple of ridiculously bad fills on market-on-close orders (during normal trading hours) on some very heavily traded securities -- off by perhaps $1.75, when the bid-ask spread at close and immediately before close was 1 cent. I wonder whether these bad fills were Madoff ones (Fidelity's online records don't show this information for more than a day or so after the original trade report).