'Soft Screw' Barred From Madoff Lieutenants' Trial

Sep 27 2013 | 10:30am ET

Jurors will not get to see some of the more colorful evidence prosecutors had mustered against five former employees of Bernard Madoff.

Most notably, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled this week that jurors could not be shown a sculpture of a screw that Madoff kept in his office. Defense lawyers worried about the "colloquial inference" the artwork, "The Soft Screw," held, although they did not specify which inference—prosecutors have alleged that "one of the defendants was involved in a love triangle with Bernard Madoff himself."

Swain also ordered prosecutors to "see if you can get that screw out of the pictures" of Madoff's office, suggesting that they "Photoshop it out." Prosecutors were also barred them from mentioning the suicide of Madoff's younger son or about some luxury items bought by the defendants—with one exception. They will be permitted to discuss a beach house purchased by Joann Crupi with a $2.7 million bonus. Crupi, one of the five defendants, handled the Madoff firm's daily cash balances. Swain also denied a motion seeking to bar the details of the alleged "love triangle."

Also facing trial on Oct. 7 are former Madoff operations director Daniel Bonventre, Madoff secretary Annette Bongiorno, and computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez. All are charged with assisting in Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Swain said she would allow Bongiorno, who is "diminutive in stature," to use her own chair, rather than the standard courtroom chairs, which would be "uncomfortable" over a possible 12-week trial.

Jury selection will actually begin next week, when a jury pool will complete a questionnaire.


In Depth

Q&A: Brevan Howard’s Charlotte Valeur Talks Strategy

Sep 18 2014 | 11:18am ET

Charlotte Valeur chairs the board of Brevan Howard Credit Catalysts, an LSE listed...

Lifestyle

Hedgies Rock Out For Children's Charity

Sep 15 2014 | 8:40am ET

It's that time of year again—when hedgies trade in their spreadsheets for guitars...

Guest Contributor

Volkered: How Financial Sector Reforms are Creating Opportunities for Hedge Funds

Sep 16 2014 | 11:28am ET

New regulations have dramatically curtailed proprietary trading activity in investment...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

The London Whale: Rogue risk management

Credit default swaps brought down the London Whale and cost JPMorgan $6.2 billion. Here is how it happened.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.