Ex-Madoff Programmer Gets Two-And-A-Half Years

Dec 11 2014 | 10:59am ET

A former computer programmer for Bernard Madoff’s firm has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for his role in the $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

George Perez’s sentencing came just a day before the six-year anniversary of Madoff’s arrest. Himself arrested in 2010, Perez was convicted alongside four other former Madoff lieutenants in March. Three others, including fellow programmer Jerome O’Hara, were also sentenced to prison this week; a fifth will learn her fate on Monday.

Like Perez, O’Hara received a two-and-a-half year sentence. Prosecutors had sought more than eight years for both. Perez was also ordered to forfeit $19.7 billion.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said Perez was less culpable than other defendants and that his sentence was sufficiently “severe and commensurate with his crimes,” after prosecutors urged her to stop handing out what they saw as light sentences to Madoff accomplices.

For his part, Perez said he was “terribly sorry for the role my work played,” pronouncing himself “sad and tired.”

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