Five former aides to Bernard Madoff are seen as facing tough odds in trying to convince a New York jury they were innocent bystanders to the con man’s $17bn fraud, given what one lawyer called the 'avalanche' of evidence produced by prosecutors.
Bloomberg's Erik Larson reports that after months of testimony by Madoff accomplices, industry experts and former clerical staff, the three men and two women on trial since October will begin presenting their defence cases as soon as tomorrow in Manhattan federal court. The defendants have pleaded not guilty and claim Madoff duped them.
Changing the narrative after such a long prosecution will be a 'daunting task,' said Philip Hilder, a former federal prosecutor in Houston who’s now a white-collar defence lawyer and isn’t working on the case. 'The ‘duped’ defence works only if someone was involved on the fringes.'
The criminal trial is the first stemming from the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme, which collapsed after Madoff’s arrest in December 2008. The outcome of the case may either validate the five-year U.S. probe or enrage thousands of victims seeking vengeance against Madoff’s inner circle.
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