Bloomberg's Erik Larson reports that Madoff’s view of David Friehling, who provided accounting services for his securities firm for two decades and later pleaded guilty in the case, is hearsay and can’t be mentioned in a defense lawyer’s cross-examination, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan has decided.
Madoff’s former finance chief, Frank DiPascali, asked his boss in a conversation about Friehling, 'Have you been paying him off or is he just dumb ?' the defence lawyer, Roland Riopelle, said in court without the jury present. Madoff responded that the accountant was dumb, which Riopelle said, shows he and DiPascali were 'moving around other people like pieces on a chess board.'
DiPascali, who pleaded guilty to aiding Madoff’s fraud and is appearing as a government witness in a bid for leniency, is the highest-ranking former executive to testify in the first criminal trial over the scheme that was exposed after Madoff’s 2008 arrest.
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