A judge has ruled in the criminal trial of five former Bernard Madoff employees who are accused of assisting the con man’s $17 billion fraud, won’t hear testimony that he joked about the firm’s “dumb” accountant.
David Friehling is the man who provided accounting services to Bernard Madoff’s firm for decades and who later pleaded guilty to fraud in 2009 and agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain decided that the remark won’t be heard by the jury. Frank DiPascali, who was Bernard Madoff’s former finance chief, had asked his boss in a conversation about his accountant David Friehling, “Have you been paying him off or is he just dumb?”
Bloomberg has reported that The lawyer for Annette Bongiorno, who is a long time employee of Bernard Madoff working for him for 40 years and who ran the investment advisory unit at the center of the fraud, stated that the Testimony that Madoff and DiPascali “had a chuckle at Friehling’s expense” helps show the extent of the conspiracy led by the two men.
Bernard Madoff, 75, former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008, after admitting his company was a fraud. On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars. The amount missing from client accounts, including fabricated gains, was almost $65 billion. He is serving a 150-year prison sentence in North Carolina, the maximum allowed.
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