Madoff could plead guilty in 50-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme
Bernard Madoff, who allegedly bilked 50 billion dollars from tens of thousands of individual investors and banks around the world, could be near to pleading guilty after prosecutors on Friday notified the federal court that they could bring new criminal charges against him, dpa reported.
Bloomberg financial news service reported that Assistant US Attorney Marc Litt, who filed the document in Manhattan federal court, indicated the government would file a new charging document - called an "information" - after Madoff agrees to waive a grand jury indictment.
Usually, defendants who agree to plead guilty to an "information" often first waive indictment, Bloomberg reported.
He intends to waive" an indictment, Madoff lawyer Dan Horwitz was quoted as saying.
Court appearances for Madoff are slated for Tuesday and Thursday.
Madoff, 70, was placed under house arrest in December for allegedly running a 50-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme - a pyramid racket where people paid into fake investments. Instead, the money from new investors was used to pay handsome dividends to earlier investors.
Madoff, a former Nasdaq chairman who was a leading trader on the New York exchange for 50 years, operated his firm, Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities LLC, as an international market broker with brokers, banks and financial firms and had a separate investment advisory business for private clients.
At least one suicide is blamed on the unravelling of the scheme. Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, 65, a founder of the hedge fund Access International Advisors, was found dead in the New York offices of a 1.4- billion-dollar Luxembourg-based hedge fund that was heavily invested in the soured Madoff firm.
Spanish, French, Austrian and British investment firms and banks have suffered billions of dollars in losses, piled on top of the erosions of the global recession.