Five former employees of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff were convicted today at the end of a six-month trial that portrayed them as telling an elaborate web of lies to hide a fraud that enriched them and cheated investors out of billions of dollars. The trial—one of the longest in the storied history of Manhattan federal court—was the first to result from the massive fraud revealed in December 2008 when Madoff ran out of money and was arrested. He pleaded guilty and is serving a 150-year prison sentence. The case focused on five people who prosecutors said helped him carry out the fraud.
Each was convicted of conspiracy to defraud clients, securities fraud, and falsifying the books and records of a broker dealer. Prosecutors obtained convictions on all 33 charges, though only one defendant was charged in some counts. Prosecutors unveiled hundreds of exhibits and showcased dozens of witnesses to try to prove charges against Annette Bongiorno, Madoff's longtime secretary; Daniel Bonventre, his director of operations for investments; JoAnn Crupi, an account manager; and Jerome O'Hara and George Perez, both computer programmers. The defendants largely took the verdict in stride except for Crupi, who looked shocked when the first guilty verdict was read and later shook her head. Click for more on the story, or see whether their office was a "sexual hotbed."