msnbc.com
updated 3/27/2009 9:03:21 AM ET 2009-03-27T13:03:21

Bernard Madoff’s U.K. operations “played a significant role in the operation” of the New York financier’s massive Ponzi scheme, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

U.K. authorities investigating the investment swindle believe criminal offences have been committed by people other than Madoff, and they expect to start filing charges within months, according to the newspaper report.

The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office, which opened a criminal investigation into Madoff’s British business earlier this year, also said his wife Ruth received $2 million in payments from Madoff's U.K. business in late November, just weeks before he was arrested, the Journal reported.

British investigators are focusing on significant amounts of money that went back and forth between Madoff’s trading operations in the United States and his U.K. operation, called Madoff Securities International Ltd., the paper said.

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