On Dec. 11, 2008, news broke that Wall Street legend and former chairman of Nasdaq, Bernard Madoff, had been arrested for running a Ponzi scheme that was believed to be a $50 billion fraud. Almost immediately, federal prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into Madoff, his co-workers, and the operations of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC. Yesterday, Irwin Lipkin, a 77-year-old man who was the Madoff firm's controller for over 30 years, was sentenced to six months in prison. Lipkin is the 15th -- and final -- defendant to be prosecuted in the Madoff case, which prosecutors have now reportedly wrapped up.
The biggest fish in the Madoff prosecution was, of course, Madoff himself. On June 29, 2009, after pleading guilty to 11 criminal counts in the massive scam, Madoff was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 150 years by U.S. Judge Denny Chin of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
There have now been 14 others who have either pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial in connection with the Madoff fraud. Five of these 14 individuals took the cases against them all the way to a jury trial. On March 24, 2014, after a marathon six-month trial, a federal jury unanimously found all five of these former members of Bernard Madoff's staff guilty on all of the 31 combined counts against them. The five staff members found guilty were Madoff operations chief Daniel Bonventre; portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi; and computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez. All five defendants are appealing their convictions.
Frank DiPascali, Madoff's finance chief who is said to have been his primary deputy, became a government cooperator and assisted in the criminal trials. DiPascali died of lung cancer on May 7, 2015, at age 58, before he could be sentenced for his role in the fraud. Peter Madoff, Madoff's Chief Compliance Officer, pleaded guilty to two criminal counts and was sentenced to 10 years in prisonin December 2012. Six other members of Madoff's staff pleaded guilty but did not receive prison sentences due to their cooperation with prosecutors.
A full list of the 15 Madoff defendants can be viewed here.