Authorities in the U.S. state of Massachusetts say the wife of accused swindler Bernard Madoff withdrew millions of dollars from a firm co-owned by her husband, a day before his arrest.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said Wednesday that Ruth Madoff withdrew $10 million on December 10, just before prosecutors charged her husband with running a global investment fraud.  She had withdrawn $5.5 million a few weeks earlier.

Authorities are investigating the link between the firm, Cohmad Securities, and the investment firm Madoff allegedly used to defraud investors.

Prosecutors obtained a 30-day extension to a deadline to indict Madoff, rescheduling the next hearing for March 13.  Madoff is currently under house arrest in his multi-million-dollar apartment in New York.

Prosecutors accuse the 70-year-old Madoff of operating a years-long pyramid scheme (Ponzi scheme) that illegally used money from new investors to pay previous ones. Officials say the fraud may have cost investors $50 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters