Ex-Madoff accountant pleads guilty to aiding fraud

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:23pm EDT
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By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bernard Madoff’s former accountant pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping the convicted swindler perpetrate his massive Ponzi scheme.

Paul Konigsberg, 78, a former senior tax partner at Konigsberg Wolf & Co, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and two counts of falsifying the records of a broker-dealer before U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in New York. He also agreed to forfeit $4.4 million.

He became the 15th person to plead guilty or be convicted at trial in connection with the fraud.

"I'm here today to take responsibility for what I did wrong," Konigsberg told Swain.

He said he had worked with others at Madoff's firm to manipulate customer account statements, including by backdating transactions, and then filed false tax returns based on those amended statements.

But he said he had not been aware that Madoff's entire investment advisory business was a massive fraud.

"It's important to me to say that I was not aware of Madoff's horrific and evil Ponzi scheme that brought so much suffering to so many," he told Swain.

As part of his plea deal, he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, who said in a court filing they would recommend a lighter sentence if he provided "substantial assistance in an investigation or prosecution."   Continued...

Paul Konigsberg (L), the former accountant and a former senior tax partner at Konigsberg Wolf & Co in New York, leaves the Manhattan federal courthouse after making bail, with his lawyer Reed Brodsky, in New York, September 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Zoran Milich