Former Madoff aides convicted of assisting fraud

NEW YORK, March 24 Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:07pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - Five former aides to investment manager Bernard Madoff were convicted on Monday on charges that they helped their boss conceal his massive Ponzi scheme for years.

A federal jury in New York found back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi and computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez guilty of securities fraud in connection with clients of the former Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. They were also convicted of conspiring to defraud those clients.

The case was the first to reach trial since Madoff's arrest in December 2008 and lasted more than five months. Prosecutors introduced into evidence thousands of pages of internal documents seized from Madoff's investment firm and called dozens of witnesses.

Madoff is serving a 150-year-prison sentence after pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme. Investors lost principal estimated at more than $17 billion. (Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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