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Madoff says banks were 'complicit' in scheme

February 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
For the first time since being arrested and convicted of a Ponzi scheme, Bernie Madoff speaks out in an interview with the New York Times.

The newspaper reports that Madoff said unnamed banks and hedge funds were "complicit" in the scandal, saying they "had to know" what was going on. He also continued to protect his family, saying they were unaware of his crimes.

Madoff's victims are believed to have lost as much as $50 billion.

"Did what I could to put away money so that at some point in my life, I could retire. And to realize in one second that i can't do that was very, very devastating," said Marla Hirschhorn, one of Madoff's many victims.

Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.