Exposing Financial Fraud
Release Date: August 26, 2011
Starring: Harry Markopolos, Frank Casey,
Neil Chelo, Gaytri Kachroo,
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 91 minutes
Distributor: Cohen Media Group, LLC
Director: Jeff Prosserman
Executive Producer: Jeff Sackman, Randy Manis,
Producer: Jeff Prosserman
Writer: Jeff Prosserman
Address Comments To:Charles S. Cohen, Chairman/CEO
Cohen Media Group
750 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (646) 380-7929
In the documentary CHASING MADOFF, which is nearly a docudrama with numerous segments of dramatic reenactment, Jeff Prosserman follows Harry Markopolos’s 10-year quest to shed light on the illegal and unethical practices of imprisoned financier Bernie Madoff. When all is said and done, Markopolos did not directly bring Madoff to justice – the recession did.
Unable to pay off “investors” into his global Ponzi scheme when the U.S. economy crashed, Madoff turned himself in to the authorities. He is currently serving 150 years in a North Carolina prison.
Prosserman’s forte is in building the documentary around the patriotic and moral protagonist, Harry Markopolos. He films engaging, narrative-centered interviews with Harry and his associates, who take viewers into the heart of the action and allow them to relive key moments of their investigation.
No doubt, audiences will be shocked by the lack of response the SEC provided to Harry’s formal reports. “My first submission was in May of 2000, and it basically explained how Bernie Madoff had to be operating a scam,” he says in the movie.
Harry had been managing a hedge fund worth millions of dollars when he was asked to find a way to compete with Madoff’s fund. For Madoff’s returns on investment to be true, he would have to be more successful in placing investments than a baseball player batting a .964 average! Or, so Harry believes.
Had the SEC listened to Harry, millions of Americans and other families worldwide could have been saved from embezzlement.
“It was a very specific complaint. Not once, not twice, not three, but, four, five times to the SEC,” noted Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York). “How many more times would a whistle blower have to bring complaints. . . for them to have investigated the Madoff case?”
The documentary sheds light on the immorality that clouds modern-day Wall Street. It bravely supports the moral grounds on which Harry Markopolos stood, and commends him for being willing to serve his country, even when only a few colleagues stood with him. However, some of the sensationalist content, including Harry’s neurotic obsession with his own personal safety, as well as that of his family (buying/shooting guns, checking family van for bombs, rehearsing family “battle drill”, etc.), detracts from the movie’s important central message of the movie.
MOVIEGUIDE ® advises caution for the adult storyline and content, as well as some violent footage, which includes accounts of two suicides. This is a movie that asks for a return to our country’s foundational vision for a free-market, yet ethical, economy.
CHASING MADOFF is nearly a docudrama with numerous scenes reenacting the drama of Harry’s efforts to expose Madoff. The movie bravely supports the moral grounds on which Harry Markopolos stood and commends him for being willing to serve his country, even when only a few colleagues stood with him. However, some of the sensationalist content, including Harry’s neurotic obsession with his own personal safety, detracts from the central message. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for CHASING MADOFF’S adult storyline and content, which contains brief, but mostly light, foul language and some violent footage, including accounts of two suicides.