Almost two years after Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme collapsed, two of his closest aides have been arrested.
Annette Bongiorno, Madoff's secretary for more than 25 years, and Joann Crupi, who handled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities' daily cash balances, were picked up at their homes in Boca Raton, Fla., and Westfield, N.J., respectively. Charges against the two are to be unsealed later today.
Bongiorno and Crupi were also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The two have already been sued by court-appointed Madoff trustee Irving Picard for $20 million, and earlier this year federal prosecutors filed forfeiture claims against them totaling more than $7 million.
The two women bring to seven the total number of Madoff employees who have been arrested in the case. Madoff, his CFO Frank DiPascali, and firm accountant David Friehling have all pleaded guilty—Madoff himself is serving a 150-year sentence.
Three back office employees charged earlier this year pleaded not guilty. Crupi's lawyer said she would contest the charges; like Bongiorno, she worked for Madoff for more than a quarter-century.
The arrests come more than a year after the Daily Beast reported that Bongiorno was likely to be charged with falsifying statements to investors. Investigators reportedly found a note from her at Madoff's Queens, N.Y., warehouse ordering an employee to produce phony client statements without argument.
The Daily Beast had also reported that criminal charges against Madoff's son and brother, and some of Madoff's feeder funds, were likely, although none have yet been charged.