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Controller in Madoff Case to Plead Guilty to Charges

While working for the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Services LLC, Cotellessa-Pitz pulled in over $3.2 million in income. She made the money prior to the scheme collapsing back in December of 2008. The civil lawsuit against her was filed by Irving Picard, a trustee.

Enrica Cotellessa-Pitz, the ex-controller for Bernard L. Madoff, is expected to plead guilty to charges of falsifying books, according to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and Law360. Cotellessa-Pitz reportedly is a member of Madoff’s confidants who was recently charged in the scheme. She has indicated to those close to the case that she will issue guilty pleas for accounting fraud on four counts, according to Attorney Preet Bharara said in a letter written sent to the court. It was also announced that she is participating with the investigation.

“Pitz had a number of roles, many of which exposed her to irrefutable evidence of fraud at BLMIS,” Picard said. The complaint explains in detail Pitz’s doings in the scheme. While working as the controller, Pitz was in charge of closing the books for the company every month, was responsible for preparing its financial reports when audited, and talked with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Picard also said that there were complicated transactions conducted to hide the bankruptcy of the investment advisory segment of the company. This was done by making the proprietary trading segment appear to be profitable.

Cotellessa-Pitz used to be romantically involved with BLMIS Chief Financial Officer Frank DiPascali and continued to be a friend of Madoff aide Annette Bongiorno. Picard said of Pitz in a complaint filed in November of 2010, “Pitz played a key role in disguising the fraudulent Ponzi scheme.”

Picard also explained that Pitz funneled money from the investment advisory section of BLMIS to the legitimate proprietary trading section of BLMIS.

David Kugel, an accountant for Madoff, pled guilty to charges similar to those against Pitz back in November. Kugel is also working in conjunction with the government regarding the investigation.

Madoff’s aide of four decades, Bongiorno, acquired over $14 million in money from investors during the life of scheme. Bongiorno has plead not guilty to charges of securities fraud.

An indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office has not been filed against Pitz yet. The office has indicated that Pitz will indeed enter a guilty plea for falsifying books and records for a broker dealer, falsifying books and records for an investment adviser, making false SEC filings and conspiracy. The strongest charge against Pitz requires a prison sentence of 20 years.

DiPascali plead guilty back in August of 2009 and has been cooperating with prosecutors ever since. DiPascali has been romantically associated with Pitz for two years during the early part of her career according to Picard.

Information researched from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

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