Episode 035: Keith Kelly – Bernie Madoff, Ponzi Scheme


Retired agent Keith Kelly served with the FBI for twenty-seven years. Keith, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), worked a variety of assignments during his career, including being a member of the New York Division SWAT Team, extensive experience as an undercover agent, following the money trail of international drugs cases and other criminal enterprises involved in distribution and racketeering, and specializing in complex financial and money laundering investigations. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Keith Kelly reviews his most high-profiled assignment as the case-agent of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, a 21-person inter-agency investigation into the largest securities fraud case in history. This work resulted in the identification, seizure and forfeiture of more than $8 billion in assets along with the conviction of Bernard Madoff who received a 150-year jail sentence.

Special Agent (Retired)

Keith Kelly

11/13/1983 – 10/22/2010








During a recent interview about the FBI’s investigation of Bernard Madoff, Keith Kelly told ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross that Madoff had planned to destroy some of the most damning evidence against him.  At the time of his arrest, Madoff already arranged for 50 boxes of documents to be taken to a warehouse where they were shredded.  Kelly said the case was so document-intensive, had he shredded more, “the case against him would’ve been very, very difficult,” resulting in much less serious criminal charges. The following are a video of that interview and other news stories featuring the Bernie Madoff case:

Exclusive: Bernie Madoff’s Secret Plan to Destroy the Ponzi Evidence (Video)

Accountant for Madoff Is Arrested and Charged With Securities Fraud

This image and the above head shot of Keith Kelly are screen shots from the ABC News interview on the Bernie Madoff case Keith did with investigative report Brian Ross.










Instead of carting the evidence away to a warehouse, the inter-agency investigation operated out of the Bernie Madoff office space. Here’s Keith working at the Madoff off-sight.










The number of agents assigned to the Bernie Madoff investigation quickly grew from two, to four, and finally 12 FBI fraud team members









Bernie Madoff mugshot.












Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 200 episodes available for free subscription on all popular podcast apps.

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