Bernie Madoff
Bernie Madoff Reuters

Bernard Madoff says the major banks "must have known" of his Ponzi scheme, the $50 billion securities fraud disaster that shook the financial world in December 2008.

Writing from prison in an email to MarketWatch, Madoff said that he is telling Congressional committees the full story and pointing fingers at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK), HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE: HBC) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), among others.

"From my first interview to the media I have said that 'the banks must have known,' and were complicit and contributing to my crime," he said in the email.

Madoff said that the trustee seems unwilling to act on his offer to help, so he is "offering this information to the appropriate governmental committees in the hope that this information will prove helpful in future regulation of the appropriate institutions."

Neither the House Financial Services Committee or the Senate Banking Committee has commented on whether they received such information from Madoff.

JPMorgan is reportedly under scrutiny from Treasury Department Inspector General Eric Thorson over a government probe into the bank's relationship with Madoff. Thorson is seeking evidence from the biggest U.S. bank by assets that Madoff had an account at JPMorgan Chase that he used in order to transfer funds between offices.