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Ex-Madoff employees’ trial to last more than five months

Published on Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013
Bernard Madoff, founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, leaves federal court in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. He was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison on June 26, 2009. (BLOOMBERG)
Peter Madoff, former chief compliance officer for his brother's firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, center, arrives at federal court for a sentencing hearing on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. Madoff, 67, who worked at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC for four decades, pleaded guilty in June to helping his brother pull off the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. (BLOOMBERG)
George Perez, a former employee at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, exits federal court in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Five longtime employees of Bernard Madoff’s former investment firm face more charges related to the jailed con man’s Ponzi scheme, which the government claims got its start in the 1970s. (BLOOMBERG)
Annette Bongiorno, a former employee at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC exits federal court in New York, U.S, on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. (BLOOMBERG)

A trial of five ex-employees of Bernard Madoff who are accused of helping the convicted con man carry off the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history is expected to last more than five months, a judge in New York said.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan today said jury selection would begin on Oct. 7 in the fraud case against Daniel Bonventre, Annette Bongiorno, Joann Crupi, Jerome O’Hara and George Perez. The defendants, who have all pleaded not guilty, are charged with crimes including conspiracy, fraud and falsifying records.

Taylor Swain said at least 400 potential jurors will be summoned, a pool from which 12 jurors and six alternates will be selected. Prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan filed a new 33-count indictment in October alleging the five were part of a conspiracy to defraud investors that got its start in the early 1970s. On May 28 the judge denied a request by the defendants for separate trials.

Federal prosecutors have obtained guilty pleas from Peter Madoff, who helped his brother run the firm for four decades, and seven former employees: Frank DiPascali, a key Madoff lieutenant; David Friehling, Madoff’s former accountant, and Craig Kugel, David Kugel, Enrica Cotellessa-Pitz, Irwin Lipkin and Eric Lipkin. Peter Madoff was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The other defendants haven’t yet been sentenced.

Ponzi Scheme

Bernard Madoff, 75, was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty to running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. He’s serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina.

Swain today also agreed to relax some conditions upon Crupi, saying she would no longer was subject to electronic monitoring or had a curfew that required her to be in her home in New Jersey. Her lawyer, Eric Breslin, declined to comment on the judge’s ruling.

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