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Serious Fraud Office to investigate Madoff operations in UK

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The Serious Fraud Office is opening an investigation into the UK operations of Bernard Madoff, the disgraced Wall Street trader accused of conning clients out of $50bn (£33bn), it announced today.

 

Police said the investigation would focus on "UK victims and any criminal offences that might have been committed in the UK".

 

"We will work closely with other law enforcement agencies to discover the truth behind the collapse of these huge financial structures. And we again ask for help from ex-employees and others," the SFO director, Richard Alderman, said.

 

The decision comes after the SFO was handed an interim report by Grant Thornton, the accountancy firm acting as the provisional liquidators of Madoff's UK operations. The SFO said it was liaising closely with law enforcement counterparts in the US and with the City of London police.

 

It has appealed for investors or other stakeholders involved with the Madoff UK businesses to get in touch in the hope that they might shed light on the trader's dealings.

 

Madoff is accused of running a fraudulent pyramid scheme in one of the largest cases of financial corruption in US history. Long considered a pillar of the Wall Street community, he was arrested on 11 December after allegedly confessing to his sons that his fund was a "giant Ponzi scheme". He was later placed under curfew and ordered to wear an electronic tag.

 

The 70-year-old faces a jail term of up to 20 years and a £3m fine. A Manhattan judge was yesterday urged to revoke his bail as prosecutors accused him of posting several packages of jewellery to family members and friends in contravention of an order freezing his assets.

 

More:

 

Serious Fraud Office to investigate Bernard Madoff businesses in UK | Business | guardian.co.uk

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