http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122903010173099377.html?mod=googlenews_wsj* DECEMBER 11, 2008, 4:29 P.M. ET
Madoff Charged With Securities Fraud
By AMIR EFRATI, TOM LAURICELLA and DIONNE SEARCEY
Bernard L. Madoff, the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and a fixture of the Wall Street trading world for decades, was arrested Thursday morning by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and charged with criminal securities fraud by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
The criminal complaint filed against Mr. Madoff alleges that he told senior employees Wednesday that his business was "a giant Ponzi scheme," according to a person familiar with the matter. The alleged scheme involved tens of billions of dollars, but the extent of investor losses wasn't immediately clear.
The disclosure came after Mr. Madoff tried to distribute early bonuses to employees of his firm, prompting questions by senior employees, a person familiar with the situation said.
Mr. Madoff, 70 years old, allegedly told employees he had a couple of hundred million dollars left and wanted to distribute it before turning himself in to authorities, this person said.