Bernard Madoff's Right-Hand Man Released on Bail, Prosecutors Seek $5 Million from Two Former Employees
By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT — The former right hand man of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was released on $10 million bail Tuesday after he admitted he played a role in the massive Ponzi scheme.
Frank DiPascali, 52, the former financial chief for Madoff's firm, left the federal courthouse without saying a word to reporters camped outside, the Associated Press reported.
DiPascali's lawyer Marc Mukasey said that his client was cooperating with federal investigators.
DiPascali's release comes as federal prosecutors said they wanted to seize $5 million in assets from two Madoff employees, who worked for the Ponzi king for more than 25 years.
Prosecutors said the money is "traceable" to their boss' infamous Ponzi scheme.
Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi "knowingly participated in the alleged fraud," according to federal attorneys, who claim the pair of employees lied to Madoff's clients about their investments and benefited from the massive scheme, according to a civil forfeiture papers filed Tuesday.
The U.S. Attorney is asking for Bongiorno's 2005 Bentley, valued at $182, 605, her 2007 Mercedes, valued at $90,000, her $1.3 million luxury condo and another $1.1 million held in several bank accounts.
They are also seeking Crupi's $2.2 million home in New Jersey and $26,500 in cash.
Bongiorno, who was an office supervisor, allegedly provided clients with false information about their investments on behalf of the securities firm. Crupi prepared deceptive false documents to give to clients and auditors about the phony investments, according to court papers filed Tuesday.
Criminal charges have not yet been filed against the staffers but the investigation will continue, prosecutors said.
Madoff, 72, is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to defrauding hundreds of clients in 2009.