However corrupt Blagojevich may be, this will probably dwarf it:
Bernard L. Madoff, a legend among Wall Street traders, was arrested on Thursday morning by federal agents and charged with criminal securities fraud stemming from his company’s money management business.
The arrest and criminal complaint were confirmed just before 6 p.m. Thursday by Lev L. Dassin, the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, and Mark Mershon, the assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the complaint, Mr. Madoff advised colleagues at the firm on Wednesday that his investment advisory business was “all just one big lie” that was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme” that, by his estimate, had lost $50 billion over many years.
Related accusations were made in a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Manhattan. That complaint accuses Mr. Madoff of defrauding advisory clients of his firm and seeks emergency relief to protect potential victims, including an asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for the firm.
“We are alleging a massive fraud — both in terms of scope and duration,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the S.E.C. enforcement division. “We are moving quickly and decisively to stop the fraud and protect remaining assets for investors.”***
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. Mr. 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, according to the regulatory complaint.
Unbelievable. How many lives did this guy ruin?
And, just to save the media some time- how does this damage the Obama administration, how long has he known Madoff, will Obama release any staff contact with the guy, and will important questions about his relationship with Madoff be “censored” at change.gov? There, Halperin and Drudge and Jessica Yellin- I did your work for you.