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March 27, 2014

Madoff Jurors Say Aides Were Bernie’s Willing ‘Soldiers’

“The five former Bernard Madoff aides on trial for perpetuating the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history never had a chance once deliberations began, jurors who delivered a guilty verdict on all 31 counts said.”

“The defendants were seen as liars who wanted to get rich off the $17.5 billion fraud, requiring little persuasion before a unanimous decision was reached, three members of the panel said yesterday in interviews outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan. After a five-month trial, the group of eight women and three men, deliberated for four days.”

“The facts spoke for themselves,” said Sheila Amato, an art teacher in Rockland County, a New York suburb. She said the five defendants, who worked with Madoff for decades, were his “soldiers” and he was their “commander.”

“The verdict was a significant victory for the U.S. government, coming in the only criminal trial brought since Madoff’s confession and arrest in December 2008, around the peak of the financial crisis.”

“The jury was particularly unimpressed with the testimony of defendants Annette Bongiorno, 66, who ran Madoff’s investment advisory unit, and Daniel Bonventre, 67, the former operations chief, viewing their decisions to take the stand as mistakes that revealed the strength of the government’s case, the jurors said.”

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Read full Bloomberg article here.

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