IT Programmers Accused Of Being Madoff Accomplices

The New York Times reports that two IT programmers who work for Bernie Madoff have been fingered for helping him get away with his fraud.

Jerome O'Hara, 46, and George Perez, 43, were arrested last week, and have also been named in a civil case being brought by US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The two men shared an office on the 17th floor of Madoff's HQ building in New York, and are accused of generating millions of pages of 'phony reports and data' over a period of 15 years. SEC New York chief George Canellos said: 'Without the help of O'Hara and Perez, the Madoff fraud would not have been possible'. The pair, who are also accused of deleting around 218 programs from the central database, face 30 years in prison if convicted.

In the meantime, The New York Post reports that investor and philanthropist Stanley Chais has counter sued Madoff trustee Irving Picard in a quest to unfreeze some $1bn of cash that is being claimed on behalf of investors in Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

And Bloomberg reports that 170 Madoff lots were sold off at auction in New York over the weekend, raising almost $1m for investors. The most expensive sale was the $70,000 paid for a pair of Mrs Madoff's 14-carat diamond earrings.

Finally, the news agency also reports that Helmut Kiener, the founder of hedge fund K1, who has been accused of defrauding several banks out of up to $400m, has lost his bid for freedom pending his trial. Kiener is, however, free to appeal the decision.

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