Britain's Serious Fraud Office will decide this year whether to file any charges stemming from its investigation of Bernard Madoff's operations in this country, a spokesman for the agency said Friday. The British investigation, announced Jan. 13, will not be affected by an order by a US court granting the liquidators of Madoff's US operations power of attorney over the overseas units, added the spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with office policy. No charges have been filed in Britain to date, but "we expect to bring any charges this year," the spokesman added. Madoff admitted in the US District Court in New York on March 12 that he used his London base "in more recent years" to conceal his massive fraud. "I wired money between the United States and the United Kingdom to make it appear as though there were actual securities transactions executed on behalf of my investment advisory clients," he said.