Former Madoff associates found guilty of fraud
By Joseph Ax
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five former aides to investment manager Bernard Madoff were convicted on Monday of charges that they helped their boss conceal his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme for years.
A federal jury in New York found back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi,
and computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez guilty on all counts, including securities fraud and conspiracy to defraud clients.
The five-month trial was one of the longest white-collar criminal trials in Manhattan federal court history, featuring dozens of witnesses and thousands of documents. It is the first criminal trial stemming from Madoff's fraud.
The five defendants will be sentenced in late July.
"The scheme these defendants helped perpetrate cost innumerable investors their life savings," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. "Now it likely will cost the defendants their freedom."
Madoff, 75, is serving a 150-year-prison sentence after pleading guilty in March 2009 to running the Ponzi scheme, estimated to have cost investors more than $17 billion of principal. He was arrested in December 2008.
Nine other people have pleaded guilty in connection with Madoff's fraud, some of whom testified at the trial as cooperating government witnesses. Continued...