The IBMer Who Decoded Bernie Madoff’s RPG
September 12, 2016 Alex Woodie
When Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008, erasing $65 billion in supposed wealth, the midrange community was somewhat surprised to learn that an AS/400 was at the heart of the operation. Soon thereafter, FBI agents called Rochester, Minnesota, with a request for IBM: Give us an expert witness who can untangle the ancient RPG II code and explain how it works to a jury. That job eventually fell to longtime IBMer Rich Diedrich.
Diedrich had worked in Lab Services since the early 1990s, back when it was called the Custom Technology Center. While Diedrich has expertise in