Madoffs former accountant arrested over 65bn Ponzi scheme

A former accountant for Bernard Madoff was arrested on Thursday, nearly five years after the fraudster's huge Ponzi scheme was uncovered, an FBI spokesman said.

Paul Konigsberg, an accountant and former senior tax partner at Konigsberg Wolf & Co in New York, is the 15th person to be charged over the fraud, the Guardian reports.

Madoff, 75, (pictured) was arrested on 12 December 2008 and is serving a 150-year sentence. The trustee liquidating Madoff's New York investment firm has said customers lost about $17.3bn (£10.7bn).

Konigsberg's arrest comes less than two weeks before the expected trial of five former Madoff employees accused of aiding the fraud.

According to court papers, Konigsberg was a close associate of Madoff's and helped him open a London-based operation, Madoff Securities International Ltd, in which he owned non-voting shares.

It was not immediately clear what charges Konigsberg faces.

In March 2009, prosecutors in the US accused Madoff of using the London operation to launder money.

They said he would wire money from his New York investment advisory business to London, and then from London back to New York to support his trading business and to personally benefit himself, family and associates.

Reed Brodsky, a lawyer for Konigsberg, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Brodsky told the New York Times, which earlier reported the arrest, that his 77-year-old client was an "innocent victim" of Madoff's fraud and looked forward to clearing his name at trial.

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