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SEC bars Madoff from securities industry

DISGRACED money manager Bernard Madoff has been prohibited from working in the securities industry under a settlement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Madoff is barred from associating with any brokerage or investment firm, according to documents released by the SEC on Tuesday that stem from a settlement he reached with the agency in February. The deal could eventually force Madoff to pay a civil fine and return money raised from investors.

The civil proceeding is separate from the criminal case against Madoff, who has been jailed since March when he entered a guilty plea to defrauding thousands of investors who lost billions of dollars. He faces up to 150 years in prison, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29 in the United States District Court in Manhattan.

The SEC's complaint against Madoff accused him of conducting a fraudulent US$50 billion scheme through his New York-based investment company. The SEC cited Madoff's alleged statements in December to senior employees of the firm that the business was "just one big lie, basically a giant Ponzi scheme."

Madoff was arrested on December 11 after allegedly confessing to his sons he had stolen from investors for years.

The scandal turned a widely respected investment professional into a scorned symbol of Wall Street greed.

The SEC was vilified over its failure to detect Madoff's massive pyramid scheme.


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