* Reuters, Wednesday December 17 2008
(Adds Cox comments)
By John Poirier and Rachelle Younglai
WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives panel plans to convene an inquiry in January into the failure of securities regulators to unearth an alleged $50 billion securities fraud by Wall Street veteran Bernard Madoff, a key lawmaker said on Wednesday.
Madoff, a former Nasdaq Stock Market chairman, was arrested last week and charged with running a massive Ponzi scheme. He is accused of defrauding banks, investment funds, charities and wealthy individuals who invested in funds he controlled.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has come under fire for not uncovering the scandal until senior employees of Madoff went to authorities.
The agency, chaired by Christopher Cox, has been accused of missing a number of red flags about the way Madoff operated his investment business.