Madoff indictment delayed, wife accused of withdrawing $15.5 million

February 11, 2009

(ChattahBox) -— Prosecutors on Wednesday delayed indicting Bernard Madoff for 30 days and in a new twist said his wife withdrew 15.5 million dollars just before the financier’s alleged fraud collapsed.

Faced with a deadline to obtain a grand jury indictment, the government and lawyers for disgraced money manager Bernard Madoff agreed Wednesday to a 30-day delay.

A federal magistrate judge approved the postponement Wednesday, when the government had faced a deadline to indict the Wall Street financier. The new deadline to bring an indictment was moved to March 13.

The postponement raises the possibility that the disgraced fund manager is attempting to negotiate a guilty plea to escape a jury trial that may be embarrassing to the government.

Madoff was arrested in December after investigators said he confessed to his sons that he had swindled investors of $50 billion in a Ponzi scheme.

The 70-year-old former Nasdaq stock market chairman remains confined to his Manhattan penthouse under house arrest.

A new twist in the scandal emerged yesterday when it was revealed that Mr Madoff’s wife withdrew $15.5 million from a brokerage related to the main scheme, including a $10 million withdrawal, on the day he confessed.

The withdrawals were revealed in a complaint against Cohmad Securities by Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin. Mr Galvin’s office has been pursuing Cohmad, of which Mr Madoff and his brother, Peter, owned up to 35 per cent. The brokerage, with an office in Boston, directed clients to Mr Madoff’s fund.

Earlier this week, Madoff agreed to a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle some of the civil fraud charges brought against him.

According to the terms of the deal, Madoff cannot contest civil fraud allegations and it will be decided later whether civil fines and restitution will be ordered.


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