London, Mar 28 (ANI): Disgraced US financier Bernard Madoff used the London arm of his corrupt investment business as his personal "piggy bank", British fraud investigators have claimed.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) described Madoff Securities International, based in Mayfair, Central London as "a cog in the global washing machine", through which the jailed fraudster had laundered billions of pounds.
The Times reported that one billion pounds last year passed from Madoff's business in New York through one of his London firm's accounts and then back across the Atlantic.
His other London accounts were used to pay for the construction of a five million pounds luxurious yacht, the Bull, which is at anchor near Antibes in the South of France.
Glyn Powell, of the Serious Fraud Office, who is the head of British arm of the inquiry, said it appeared that the firm had "role played a significant in the operation of Bernard Madoff's investment fraud."
The SFO will decide later this year whether there are grounds to bring criminal charges against some of Madoff's British associates.
The paper further informed that Madoff's brother Peter, director of a London firm, acquired an Aston Martin DB6 and, shortly before the business collapsed. The purchases were accounted for as loans and directors' remuneration.
The SFO and the FBI in New York are each investigating who else might have known about Madoff's illegal activities, which stretch back to early 1990's.
The Wall Street swindler Madoff claims that he acted alone and his wife has not bee charged with any wrongdoing.
The 65 billion dollar scam by Madoff is the largest in the Wall Street's history, hitting 4,800 clients, including charities and Hollywood celebrities. (ANI)