The convictions of five former Bernard Madoff aides should stand, a federal judge ruled yesterday.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain rejected a request from the five to either dismiss their convictions or order a new trial. The former Madoff employees—operations director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez—were convicted of aiding and abetting Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme in March.
Swain ruled that there was ample evidence for the jury to convict, and said that while she wished prosecutors took a “higher and less rhetorical road” during their closing statement, which lawyers for the five called prejudicial, it “did not so taint the trial so as to make it fundamentally unfair.”
The former employees are to be sentenced in September. Bonventre and Bongiorno face more than 20 years, Crupi more than 14 and O’Hara and Perez more than eight.
The five are likely to appeal their convictions following sentencing, although Bongiorno’s lawyer, Roland Riopelle, said that Swain’s ruling was “thorough and comprehensive.”