Madoff: It's 'Amazing' I Didn't Get Caught Sooner

Jailed swindler Bernie Madoff said it was "amazing" that he didn't get caught sooner in his multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, and that everything the SEC did to investigate him prior to 2006 was a waste of time, according to a jailhouse interview he gave to SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz.

Madoff also told Kotz that SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro was a "dear friend," although she "probably thinks, 'I wish I never knew this guy.'"

Madoff gave the interview to Kotz in June while awaiting sentencing for one of the largest financial frauds in history. At the time, Madoff was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. He agreed to speak to Kotz, who was investigating the SEC's decades-long failure to uncover the scheme. The SEC released notes of the interview along with hundreds of other exhibits in the investigation following a request by CNBC under the Freedom of Information Act.

Bernie Madoff mugshot
US Department of Justice
Bernie Madoff mugshot

Madoff tells Kotz he feels "misunderstood" by prosecutors in his case, and that there is " a lot of misinformation" circulating about the scandal as a result. However, he adds, "I'm not saying I'm not guilty."

Madoff says that in multiple encounters with SEC investigators over the years, he never had to tell them about his role in the industry because "they already knew."

The Inspector General's report, released in early September, found multiple lapses at the SEC, but said there was no evidence of improper influence by Madoff.

Kotz told CNBC in a statement Friday that he found no evidence to support Madoff's claim of a close relationship with Mary Schapiro.

Madoff also told Kotz that his greatest regret was that he had set the industry back, calling the entire episode a "tragedy" and a "nightmare".

Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence for his crime.