SEC Charges Madoff Advisers With Fraud

U.S. officials have filed civil charges against two of the so-called feeder funds that helped Bernard Madoff find investors. They say the firms knew — or should have known — that Madoff was operating a giant Ponzi scheme.

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NPR's business news starts with more charges in the Madoff scandal.

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MONTAGNE: The government is bringing civil charges against two financial firms in connection with Bernard Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Regulators say executives helped funnel money into Madoff's operation and knew, or should've known, what was going on.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

JIM ZARROLI: Among those charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission, were three senior executives at Cohmad Securities, which had an office in the same Manhattan building where Madoff was based. A lawsuit filed by the SEC says Cohmad served as an in-house marketing firm for Madoff, collecting investor dollars and funneling them into Madoff's operation. The suit says, in exchange, Cohmad collected millions of dollars in fees. An attorney for one of the executives charged said the suit smacks of impulsiveness and self-justification.

The SEC also filed civil charges against California money manager Stanley Chase, who steered about a billion dollars toward Madoff's firm. According to the SEC, Chase once told Madoff he didn't want to see any losses on the balance sheets of the clients he brought in. And for nearly a decade, Madoff complied with that request. But Chase's attorney noted that his client and his family lost everything in the collapse of Madoff's empire. And, he said, that would be an impossible result, were Chase himself involved in the underlying fraud.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.

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