Bernard Madoff ‘did not act alone’ in fraud

Bernard Madoff ‘did not act alone’ in fraud

Five of Bernard Madoff’s former employees generated millions of pages of fake documents over three years to help the jailed financier trick thousands of investors, a court heard on Wednesday.

The US government made the claims at the start of a five-week trial, in which it will try to prove that Madoff did not act alone in running the biggest Ponzi scheme ever discovered. The disgraced financier, who is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence for fraud, insists he acted alone in the fraudulent scheme which cost investors around $ 20bn (£12.5bn) before it was exposed in 2008.

However, the US government claims that five of his former staff helped Madoff to “perpetuate [an] elaborate fiction”, in which he claimed that the $ 300m in certain accounts was actually $ 68bn. The former staff on trial include his longstanding secretary, Annette Bongiorno; his director of operations for investments, Daniel Bonventre; account manager JoAnn Crupi and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez. All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Six others have pleaded guilty, including Madoff’s former finance chief, Frank DiPascali, who is expected to be the government’s star witness.

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