New Jersey residents may be interested in a story involving a 48-year-old man who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison on Dec. 10 for his role in the Bernie Madoff scandal. In addition to the jail sentence, he was also ordered to forfeit $19.75 billion, which was considered to be a symbolic penalty. The man was sentenced nine months after being found guilty by a Manhattan jury of securities fraud and conspiracy charges.
It also came one day prior to the sixth anniversary of the Madoff scandal. The man was one of five former Madoff employees who were sentenced to prison time for their roles in the scheme. It was alleged that they perpetuated the fraud by creating fake documents and backdating trades. In addition to the sentence handed down to the man, a former Madoff manager and computer programmer were sentenced to six years and 2.5 years in prison, respectively, on Dec. 9.
A former Madoff back office director was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Dec. 8. All of the defendants claimed that they were led to believe that all actions taken were legitimate. It is expected that they will appeal their sentences, which were less severe than prosecutors wanted them to be. Madoff himself was sentenced to 150 years in prison after pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that cost investors billions.
Those who are charged with white collar crimes may wish to hire a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to argue that a defendant did not knowingly or intentionally engage in fraudulent or deceptive practices. If successful, it may be possible for a defendant in such a case to avoid penalties such as jail or prison time, a fine and restitution to those who lost money.
Source: Reuters, "Ex-Madoff computer programmer gets 2-1/2 years prison for fraud", Nate Raymond, December 10, 2014