The do-nothing SEC commissioner and his minions had Bernie right under their noses and still couldn't smell him. Examiners who asked tough questions—notably SEC attorney Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot—were reassigned before they could make a case. Christopher Cox was just one in a series of SEC heads—Arthur Levitt, Harvey Pitt, William Donaldson—who missed the elephant in the room. Even Madoff was "astonished" when, in 2006, he gave SEC sleuths his DTC account number to verify his trading activities—and nothing happened. "I thought it was the end, game over," Madoff later recalled. In October, two New York-based investors sued the federal government for $2.4 million in damages, alleging "gross negligence" by the SEC. So far, the agency has not fired a single employee over the Madoff affair.