Judge Hands Out More Sentences in Madoff Case

     (CN) – Bernard Madoff’s long time assistant was sentenced to six years in prison today for her role in the Ponzi scheme that cost investors as much as $20 billion.
     Annette Bongiorno, 65, was also held jointly liable for $155.2 billion in forfeitures — the amount federal prosecutors say was taken in and redistributed over the decades the scheme was carried out.
     Hours later, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain sentenced Jerome O’Hara, Madoff’s computer programmer, to 2 1/2 years in prison.
     The sentences are the shortest so far handed out by U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who only yesterday sentenced Daniel Bonventre, the former director of operations of Madoff’s firm, to 10 years in prison and three years supervised release.
     And then there’s Madoff himself, who pleaded guilty before going to trial, and was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his role as mastermind for the biggest financial fraud in U.S. history.
     In handing out Bongiorno’s sentence, Judge Swain said while she believed Bongiorno was not “fundamentally corrupt,” she nevertheless “was a knowing and willing participant who made a choice to participate in the securities fraud.”
     In O’Hara’s case, Swain said she took into account his limited role in handing out the lesser punishment.

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