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SEC disciplines 8 employees over Madoff failure

WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission says it has disciplined eight employees for failing to uncover the Bernard Madoff’s pyramid scheme over a 16-year period. None of the employees were fired.

SEC spokesman John Nester says the discipline varied. Three employees had their pay reduced. Two received 30-day suspensions without pay, one of whom also received a pay cut. The others received shorter suspension or counseling memos. The actions were based on recommendations by a law firm hired by the agency.

Two years ago, the SEC inspector general questioned the conduct of 21 employees in a report on the Madoff affair. Ten of those employees have since left the agency.

The SEC has been criticized for failing to spot the pyramid scheme. Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence for securities fraud.