Bernard Madoff’s former computer programmers created a web of simple equations to make thousands of fake transaction numbers, dates and time stamps appear realistic on documents used to trick auditors, a jury was told in the trial of five of the con man’s former top aides.
Bloomberg reports that the men, Jerome O’Hara and George Perez, wrote dozens of 'special' programs during audits by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and HSBC, Richard Dietrich, a senior technician at International Business Machines, testified yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. Prosecutors have said the programming wouldn’t have been necessary if real trading had taken place, and that the former employees knew it was fraudulent because they helped create it.
The trial is the first stemming from Madoff’s $17bn Ponzi scheme, which collapsed after his confession and arrest in December 2008. O’Hara, Perez and three other former Madoff employees went on trial in October over accusations they aided the fraud for decades and got rich in the process.
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image: © U.S. Department of Justice