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Madoff's wife pulled millions from firm

The Associated Press

The wife of Bernard Madoff withdrew more than $15 million from a firm co-owned by her husband -- including $10 million on the day their children turned her husband over to authorities for an alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the top securities regulator in Massachusetts said Wednesday.

Secretary of State William Galvin said Ruth Madoff, 67, withdrew $5.5 million Nov. 25 and $10 million Dec. 10 -- the day before Bernard Madoff was arrested -- from Cohmad Securities Corp., a firm co-owned by her husband.

Galvin cited wire-transfer records produced by Cohmad as proof of the withdrawals. They came while Madoffs' scheme was unraveling as investors filed $7 billion worth of redemption requests.

They also appeared to follow what authorities consider a disturbing trend on the part of the Madoffs to hide money that could be used to reimburse burned investors.

Prosecutors have already said investigators found 100 signed checks worth $173 million that Madoff was ready to send to family and friends at the time of his arrest in December. Two weeks later, during the Christmas holidays, Madoff sent more than $1 million in jewelry and heirlooms to family and friends.

"We're not accusing her of anything wrong," Galvin spokesman Brian McNiff said of Ruth Madoff. "It's just one of the things that came out in the response, such as it was, from Cohmad" to a subpoena from Massachusetts officials.

In New York, meanwhile, the government and Madoff's lawyers agreed to a 30-day delay in the Wednesday deadline for a grand-jury indictment against the money manager. The new deadline is March 13.

It has been widely anticipated the case will be resolved before trial through an agreement between the government and Madoff's lawyers.

Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq stock-market chairman, remains in his Manhattan penthouse under house arrest.

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