Investors lost about $19bn in the scam, prosecutors have said.
Madoff, 75, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2009 to running a Ponzi scheme.
'He was brilliant, you were not', Breslin said of Madoff, whose 'shadow will be in this courtroom every single day'.
Thursday was the second day of opening arguments in the trial of the former employees. The trial continues next week with prosecution witnesses.
On Wednesday, prosecutors appealed to the jurors' common sense, saying Madoff could not possibly have pulled off his scheme, valued as high as $65bn, without help.
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