The Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] charged Thursday 70-year-old Bernard L. Madoff, ex-chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Markets and his investment firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, with securities fraud for a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that he perpetrated on advisory clients of his firm, the SEC said in a statement.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, alleges that Madoff yesterday informed two senior employees that his investment advisory business was a fraud. Madoff told these employees that he was “finished,” that he had “absolutely nothing,” that “it’s all just one big lie,” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme.”
The senior employees understood him to be saying that he had for years been paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from other, different investors. Madoff admitted in this conversation that the firm was insolvent and had been for years, and that he estimated the losses from this fraud were at least $50 billion.
Medoff’s firm is primarily known for its business in market-making, but Madoff also ran an investment-advisory business that managed money for high-net-worth individuals, hedge funds and other institutions.
According to regulatory filings on January 7, 2008, the Madoff firm served between 11 and 25 clients and had $17.1 billion in assets under management. It appears, notes the SEC, that virtually all assets of the advisory business are missing.
Andrew M. Calamari, Associate Director of Enforcement in the SEC’s New York Regional Office, added: “Our complaint alleges a stunning fraud that appears to be of epic proportions.” The Securities and Exchange Commission, said it was an ongoing $50 billion swindle, and asked a judge to seize the firm and its assets.
Here is the criminal indictment of Bernie Madoff. Check at the bottom of page 2, it’s pretty amazing. According to the Wall Street Journal, the two senior employees Madoff informed on the true state of the firm’s finances, are Bernie’s sons.