Prosecutors at the trial of five ex-employees of Bernie Madoff were barred from telling jurors about a sculpture of a screw their boss kept in his office after defence lawyers said the evidence would be crude.
Bloomberg reports that the sculpture was recovered from Madoff’s office after his 2008 arrest for masterminding a Ponzi scheme that cost investors about $17bn in lost principal. Five former Madoff employees are facing trial in federal court in Manhattan for aiding the fraud. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain yesterday granted a defence request and prohibited the government from showing jurors the sculpture or photographs of it, after defence lawyers complained of the artwork’s 'colloquial inference'.
'See if you can get that screw out of the pictures', of Madoff’s office, Swain told prosecutors.
The five defendants - Daniel Bonventre, Annette Bongiorno, Jerome O’Hara, George Perez and Joann Crupi - are scheduled to go on trial 7th October, with the start of jury selection. Next week, a panel of 400 potential jurors will be called in to complete a questionnaire.
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