“BERNARD MADOFF AIDE MUST PAY $2.4 MILLION FOR FRAUD CASE BAIL”
FROM THE -
JOURNALS of Monte Friesner ~ Tuesday December 21, 2010 >
Financial Crime Consultant for WANTED SA >
WANTED SA has learned this morning that one of convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff's longest-serving employees will have to give up at least $2.4 million for a judge to consider granting her bail on criminal charges, a New York court has heard.
Annette Bongiorno has until midday today, US time, to disclose the whereabouts of millions of dollars they say are proceeds from Madoff's multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Bongiorno, who worked in the investment advisory arm of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities for 40 years until his arrest on December 11, 2008, is being held in Florida at one of her two multi-million-dollar homes.
US district judge Laura Taylor Swain reserved a decision on whether Bongiorno met conditions of her $5 million bail following her arrest on November 18, but left open the possibility she could be transported to a New York jail tomorrow pending trial.
Bongiorno's lawyers argued that their client was obeying her house arrest terms, even calling authorities when a power cut brought down her electronic tag.
“Every day strengthens the case that she is not a flight risk,” said one her lawyers, Maurice Sercarz, arguing for her bail to be granted so she could be detained at another home in New York.
A US prosecutor, Julian Moore, also told the court Bongiorno's husband, Rudy Bongiorno, deposited $172,000 into his own Madoff account over the years and withdrew $3.8 million.
At the same hearing, four former Madoff employees who were arrested on criminal charges in the past year for their purported roles in the fraud, pleaded not guilty to a consolidated indictment.
Eight people have been criminally charged in the case, including Madoff, outside accountant David Friehling, longtime Madoff right-hand man Frank DiPascali, computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez, operations manager Daniel Bonventre, Bongiorno and Jo Ann Crupi, who both managed accounts.
Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to orchestrating the fraud, which prosecutors initially estimated took in $65 billion. A court-appointed trustee has put the amount of investor money lost at about $20 billion, considered the biggest investment fraud in history.
Friehling and DiPascali have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
The trustee, Irving Picard, who is recovering money to repay thousands of defrauded investors, agreed to allow Madoff's wife, Ruth Madoff, until January 28 to answer his civil lawsuit seeking $45 million.
The deadline had been December 17, but the family is in mourning following the suicide on Saturday of her son Mark Madoff aged 46. He and his brother managed the brokerage at their father's firm and deny any knowledge of his crimes.
WANTED SA kindly thanks Westlaw, Arutz Sheva, Associated Press, and all the Parties, Press, Journalists, Law Enforcement and Securities forces who have contributed to this article and their sincere opinions and statements.