Madoff OKs Settlement With SEC

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 7:07 PM CST
In this Jan. 14, 2009 file photo, Bernard Madoff arrives at Federal Court for a scheduled hearing in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
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(Newser) – Bernard Madoff has partly settled civil accusations against him, a sign he will focus on fighting criminal charges over an alleged Ponzi scheme, the New York Times reports. Madoff's settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission stipulates that he will not admit or deny guilt, but cannot dispute SEC charges. "It means that he is not fighting" in the civil case, one attorney told Reuters.

Madoff's criminal hearing is set to start Wednesday, but could be held over if prosecutors and his lawyers agree. Lawyers handling the liquidation of his old firm say it could take months for investors' initial claims to be fulfilled. Madoff, 70, has confessed to running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $50 billion, authorities say.