Madoff Aide Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

Annette Bongiorno, a former manager at the convicted fraudster's firm, was convicted of helping him carry out his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Annette Bongiorno, former portfolio manager for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, exits the Manhattan Federal Court house in New York, in this file photo from March 24, 2014.
Annette Bongiorno, former portfolio manager for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, exits the Manhattan Federal Court house in New York, in this file photo from March 24, 2014.Credit: Reuters
Reuters
Reuters

A former manager at Bernard Madoff's firm was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday for helping the convicted fraudster carry out a Ponzi scheme that caused investors to lose billions of dollars.

Annette Bongiorno, who worked for Madoff from the 1960s until the firm's collapse in 2008, was the second of five former employees to be sentenced after being convicted in March of securities fraud, conspiracy and other charges in a Manhattan federal court.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain also ordered Bongiorno, 66, to forfeit $155 billion, a symbolic amount for which she and the other defendants who worked at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC would be jointly responsible.

The sentencing came a day after former Madoff operations director Daniel Bonventre was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Swain said Bongiorno, who was indicted in 2010, was not a "coldly calculating participant" in her boss's Ponzi scheme, but willfully blinded herself to the "corrupt illogicality" of what was going on.

"She could and should have looked at what was in front of her," the judge said.

Prior to being sentenced, a tearful Bongiorno apologized to victims of Madoff's fraud, calling her own ignorance "so severe it caused me to become a criminal.

"I didn't know what was happening," she said. "I didn't mean to hurt you."

Prosecutors accused Bongiorno, Bonventre, former portfolio manager Joann Crupi and former computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez of helping Madoff hide his fraud from auditors, government regulators and the public through fake documents and bogus transactions.

The defendants have said Madoff deceived them into believing his investment advisory business was legitimate. They are expected to appeal their convictions.

Lawyers for Bongiorno had sought a sentence of eight to 10 years in prison.

O'Hara is expected to be sentenced later on Tuesday, Perez on Wednesday and Crupi next Monday.

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

Fifteen people have been convicted at trial or have pleaded guilty in connection with Madoff's fraud.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can