After more than a decade building perhaps the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, Bernard Madoff often couldn’t believe that federal regulators hadn’t caught on to him, a lawyer who interviewed Madoff for five hours yesterday told the Raleigh News & Observer. “There were several times when he thought, ‘They’ve got me,'” said Joseph Cotchett, an attorney for Madoff victims. Cotchett said the Securities and Exchange Commission was “incredibly  extraordinarily negligent” and should have stopped Madoff long before he was caught.
Cotchett and another lawyer were his first visitors since Madoff arrived at the Butner, N.C., federal prison two weeks ago to begin serving a 150-year sentence. Based on what Madoff said, the lawyers plan to revise a lawsuit against Madoff and may drop his wife and sons, Cotchett said. Others who worked with Madoff will be added.