Ex-Madoff aide Bongiorno loses bail, surrenders

* One of eight criminally charged in Madoff fraud

* Bongiorno to be moved to New York jail from Florida

By Grant McCool

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Annette Bongiorno, one of
convicted swindler Bernard Madoff’s longest serving employees,
surrendered to authorities on Tuesday when she failed to make bail
pending trial for her purported role in the massive fraud.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain ordered Bongiorno into
jail after she and her lawyers had spent the month since her Nov.
18 arrest on conspiracy and securities fraud charges trying to
negotiate conditions of $5 million bail while she was under house
arrest in Boca Raton, Florida.

The judge said at a bail hearing that Bongiorno, 62, was a
flight risk. She worked at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities
LLC for 40 years, managed accounts and supervised some employees,
according to U.S. prosecutors.

“For the reasons stated in court, the bail conditions
previously set by the court is revoked,” according to the record
in Manhattan federal court.

A lawyer for Bongiorno said she surrendered to U.S. Marshals
in Florida and was expected to be transferred to a jail in New
York. Bongiorno owns multimillion dollar properties, one in each
of those states.

“We intend to appeal the ruling,” one of her lawyers, Maurice
Sercarz, said. “We’ll keep fighting to get Annette out and keep
her out.”

Last week, the court heard that Bongiorno would have to give
up at least $2.4 million and her husband’s money for her to meet
bail conditions. [ID:nN15177127]

Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after
pleading guilty in March 2009 to orchestrating what is considered
the biggest investment fraud in history. U.S. prosecutors
initially estimated the fraud took in about $65 billion over
several decades.

Eight people have been criminally charged in the case,
including Madoff, outside accountant David Friehling, longtime
Madoff right-hand man Frank DiPascali, computer programmers Jerome
O’Hara and George Perez, operations manager Daniel Bonventre,
Bongiorno and Jo Ann Crupi, who both managed accounts.

Friehling and DiPascali have pleaded guilty and await
sentencing. The other five have pleaded not guilty. Of those, only
Bongiorno has been denied bail.

A court-appointed trustee has put the amount of investors’
money lost at about $20 billion. A settlement announced Friday
boosted the amount of recovered funds to nearly $10 billion
[ID:nN17100666]

The case is USA v O’Hara, Perez, Bonventre, Crupi & Bongiorno,
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No.
10-228.
(Reporting by Grant McCool)

Ex-Madoff aide Bongiorno loses bail, surrenders