Ex-Madoff manager, computer programmer get prison terms

Tue Dec 9, 2014 4:53pm EST
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former manager and a former computer programmer at Bernard Madoff's firm were sentenced to prison on Tuesday for helping the convicted fraudster run a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

Annette Bongiorno, who began working as Madoff's secretary in the 1960s and had become a manager when the firm collapsed in 2008, was sentenced to six years in prison, although this was below the eight- to 10-year term even her lawyers had requested.

The programmer, Jerome O'Hara, was sentenced a few hours later to 2-1/2 years in prison.

Both defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who presided over the trial in which they and three former colleagues were convicted of securities fraud, conspiracy and other charges in March.

"Dreams and trust were shattered, charitable foundations wiped out, and innumerable victims left to wonder what's next," she said during O'Hara's sentencing.

The judge also ordered Bongiorno and O'Hara to forfeit a symbolic $155 billion and $19.7 billion, respectively, jointly with other defendants who worked at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

The sentences come two days prior to the sixth anniversary of the uncovering of Madoff's fraud, on Dec. 11, 2008.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term after pleading guilty in 2009 to running the fraud that cost investors more than an estimated $17 billion in principal.   Continued...

Annette Bongiorno, former portfolio manager for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, exits the Manhattan Federal Court house in New York, March 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid