Madoff Lieutenants Want Convictions Junked

Apr 17 2014 | 10:33am ET

The five former Bernard Madoff employees found guilty last month of aiding the arch-fraudster’s Ponzi schemes hope their convictions are short-lived.

Daniel Bonventre, Annette Bongiorno, Joann Crupi, Jerome O’Hara and George Perez have asked U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain to void their convictions, rendered just three weeks ago. In a court filing, the five accused prosecutors of making an inflammatory closing statement and of lacking enough evidence to support the charges against them.

“The government’s summation was not destined to be a traditional summary of evidence, leavened with argument, but was instead to be a slick and highly orchestrated production aimed at lumping the five defendants together in an undifferentiated mass,” Crupi’s lawyer, Eric Breslin, argued.

Barring an outright acquittal, the five asked for a new trial. Their first took more than five months and was one of the longest trials in the history of New York federal court.

“While we generally have great faith in the jury system, we earnestly believe that this is one of those rare cases where the jury’s verdict reflects a grave miscarriage of justice,” Perez’s lawyer, Larry Krantz, wrote.

The five were convicted of helping Madoff run and conceal his $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Each of the defendants denied knowing that Madoff was up to no good.

Swain is unlikely to toss the convictions. If she does not, the five are expected to formally appeal after their July sentencing.


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