Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ex-Nasdaq chair Bernard L. Madoff arrested on fraud charge

NEW YORK (AP) — A former Nasdaq stock market chairman was arrested on a securities fraud charge Thursday, accused of running a phony investment business that amounted to what prosecutors called a "giant Ponzi scheme."

Bernard L. Madoff was released on $10 million bail. He declined to comment as he walked out of court.

Madoff, 70, the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, maintained a separate and secretive investment-advising business that served between 11 and 25 clients and had a total of about $17.1 billion in assets under management, prosecutors said.

They said he told employees Wednesday that it had been insolvent for years, losing at least $50 billion.

Madoff told employees he was "finished," that he had "absolutelly nothing," that "it's all just one big lie" and it was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme," according to a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Defense lawyer Dan Horwitz called Madoff "a person of integrity" and said he intends to fight the charge.

If convicted, Madoff could face up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million.

Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC ranks among the top 1 percent of U.S. securities firms, according to the firm's Web site.

Prosecutors noted in a release that the Web site also notes: "Clients know that Bernard Madoff has a personal interest in maintaining an unblemished record of value, fair-dealing and high ethical standards that has always been the firm's hallmark."


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1 Comment:

movie fan said...

Merry Christmas from Wall Street... Madoff represents everything that's wrong with the world