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SEC charges two Madoff employees with fraud

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged two Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities employees for their roles in the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Annette Bongiorno, who started working for BMIS in an administrative role in 1968, regularly created false books and records, the SEC alleges. She also helped mislead investors via telephone conversations, account statements and trade confirmations that reported securities transactions that never occurred as well as positions that did not exist. Additionally, using her own BMIS accounts, Bongiorno created false trades, so she could cash out millions of dollars more than was deposited.

JoAnn Crupi, who managed the main bank account used in BMIS’s investment advisory operations, helped facilitate the fraud and deceive investors, auditors and regulators into believing BMIS was a genuine venture. When the fraud was near collapse, Crupi helped choose which accounts should be cashed out and prepared checks for those selected investors, many of whom were friends or family of Madoff.

“Bongiorno and Crupi helped create an elaborate edifice of fake accounts, fake trades, and fake profits,” says George S. Canellos, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “Without their active and ongoing assistance, Madoff’s world of lies would have been unsustainable.”

Bongiorno, according to the SEC’s complaint, created trades that were selected with the benefit of hindsight to produce large gains in BMIS accounts. The trades and positions reported in investor accounts, however, were did not exist. Bongiorno also concocted trades in her own BMIS accounts and deposited about $920,000 into these accounts while withdrawing approximately $14.5 million.

In the complaint against Crupi, the SEC alleges, she knew the true financial condition of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and its dwindling assets. On Dec. 3, 2008, DiPascali told Crupi the scheme was near failure, and they soon met to discuss the implications of the collapse in more detail. During this time, Crupi continued to process client deposits, which totaled to approximately $59 million, into the Ponzi scheme bank account from Dec. 4 to Dec. 12.


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