Barron’s has a Q&A with James Hedges, the founder of LJH Global Investments, who sat down with Bernie MAdoff a decade ago to talk about potentially investing billions in Madoff Securities.
Hedges walked away from the deal because he saw red flags everywhere, he now claims:
I went in 1997 to meet Madoff, and spent two hours with him in his offices. His manner with me was wildly outside the traditional rapport I have had with managers and the kinds of access I have had to managers. I was told it was unusual for him to meet with anyone for that length of time, and that he was perturbed with the process. His whole tone during the meeting was curt, truncated, and he volunteered nothing. It was an extraction process to get him to answer anything. He was distracted the whole time, looking at people out on the trading floor through the glass wall of his office. Mind you, I was coming in to potentially invest billions of dollars for prominent families and institutions, representing extraordinarily well-known clientele. I couldn’t be more the type of person for whom you would open up the kimono. And what it told me was that it was a fraud, full-stop. It was wildly impressionable on me. I have said over the years to many people: Do not touch Madoff with a barge pole.