Monday, January 3, 2011
Ex-Madoff employee Annette Bongiorno wants out of jail
An alleged accomplice in Bernard Madoff's record fraud says she should get out of jail now that prosecutors have begun seizing the millions she allegedly reaped from the scam.
Lawyers for Annette Bongiorno -- who greeted the New Year in an Oklahoma prisoner-transfer center -- say they learned late Friday that prosecutors had "apparently begun the process of restraining" her dough.
Bongiorno's TD Bank accounts, her husband Rudy's E-Trade accounts and their joint Chase savings account have all be restrained, according to papers filed this morning in Manhattan federal court.
"We also believe that the defendant's individual Chase account has been seized," the lawyers wrote. "Together, these accounts represent a significant part of the defendant and her husband's liquid assets.
Bongiorno, who worked for Madoff for about 40 years, was arrested in November on charges she conspired with her boss by sending out phony account statements to victims of his epic, $65 billion fraud.
Prosecutors say the 62-year-old back-office worker raked in up to $623,580 a year in salary and bonuses, and also took home more than $14 million in false profits by "investing" about $900,000 in Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
Her $5 million bail was revoked shortly before Christmas by a judge who said Bongiorno's "abundance of unrestricted assets" could help her flee while awaiting trial.