NEW YORK, July 24 The federal judge who oversaw
the trial of five associates of imprisoned swindler Bernard
Madoff refused to overturn their convictions for helping their
former boss run one of the world's biggest Ponzi schemes.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said on Thursday
there was sufficient evidence for jurors to have convicted
back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers
Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, and computer programmers
Jerome O'Hara and George Perez on all counts they faced,
including securities fraud and conspiracy to defraud.
Swain also rejected the defendants' alternative argument
that they deserved a new trial because prosecutors made improper
remarks during their opening and closing statements.
The defendants were convicted on March 24, and are scheduled
to be sentenced in mid-September.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Phil