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5 Ex-Madoff Aides Found Guilty Of Conspiracy, Securities Fraud

Daniel Bonventre was convicted of ginning up phone books and records.
Seth Wenig
Daniel Bonventre was convicted of ginning up phone books and records.

Five former employees of Bernard Madoff's securities firm were found guilty of conspiracy and securities fraud for helping the now imprisoned financier carry out an elaborate scam.

The Associated Press reports:

"The defendants are all former employees of Madoff's securities firm. They were accused of enriching themselves while telling an elaborate web of lies for decades. The fraud cheated investors of billions of dollars and duped government regulators.

"The massive fraud was revealed in December 2008 when Madoff ran out of money and was arrested."

Bloomberg reports Madoff hired the three men and two women when they had little financial experience. The former aides argued that they were unaware of the fraud. But the jury was unconvinced.

The Wall Street Journal reports the five employees face decades in prison. The paper adds:

"The result, which comes after four days of deliberation, caps a trial that lasted more than [five] months and hands prosecutors a win in their only attempt to bring a Madoff case before a jury.

"Testimony during the trial showed the extent of the efforts Mr. Madoff and his employees went to disguise their fraud, everything from creating computer programs that generated fake documents to lying to regulators and auditors.

"Computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez were convicted of creating phony customer accounts, while portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and JoAnn Crupi were convicted of concocting phone trading records. Daniel Bonventre, a former operations director for Mr. Madoff, helped gin up phone books and records, the jury found."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.