Former Nasdaq chairman arrested for fraud
Madoff reportedly told employees Ponzi scheme lost billions for customers
NEW YORK - A Wall Street powerbroker for nearly 50 years who built an influential firm has confessed to a massive fraud scheme that will cost investors at least $50 billion, federal authorities say.
Bernard L. Madoff, 70, facing a single count of securities fraud, declined to speak with reporters after a federal magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Manhattan ordered him released Thursday night on $10 million bail.
Madoff told the employees he was "finished," that he had "absolutely nothing," that "it's all just one big lie" and it was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme," according to the complaint filed in court.
The employees understood Madoff's admission to mean that "he had for years been paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from other, different, investors," said the complaint, which did not identify the investors impacted by the scheme.