Due Diligence

Lipkin Becomes Third Madoff Employee to Plead Guilty

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bernie-madoff1On Monday, Eric S. Lipkin became the third former employee of Bernie Madoff to plead guilty to criminal conduct related to Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme. At a hearing in federal court in Manhattan, Lipkin pleaded guilty to six criminal counts, including conspiracy, falsifying records and bank fraud. Frank DiPascali and David Friehling, Madoff’s former accountant, have also pleaded guilty to aiding the fraudster.

Eric is not the only Lipkin allegedly entangled in this mess. In 2010, Eric Lipkin, his father, Irwin and some other relatives were sued by the trustee representing Madoff’s victims for more than $9 million they apparently reaped in the scam. Lipkin’s six felonies carry a maximum sentence of 70 years behind bars, but Lipkin may get less as he has agreed to cooperate with the government in its Madoff investigation. If his family members were involved, will he give them up?

Five other former employees, including Daniel Bonventre, JoAnn "Jodi" Crupi and Annette Bongiorno, have been charged with criminal conduct in connection with the fraud, but they have denied wrongdoing.

According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, for over a decade, Lipkin processed payroll records for “no-show” employees, falsified records of investors’ account holdings, and helped execute the fictitious investment strategy that Madoff and Madoff’s firm claimed to be pursuing on behalf of clients.

Lipkin also helped Madoff deceive regulators by preparing for clients fake Depository Trust Clearing Corporation (DTCC) reports showing the phony investments. Lipkin got annual bonuses from the firm; he also received $720,000 from Madoff to purchase a house—funds he never paid back.

Bernie Madoff's decades-long Wall Street career ended Dec. 11, 2008, when he was arrested amid allegations that he had conducted a monumental Ponzi scheme. He pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts and was sentenced in June 2009 to the maximum sentence of 150 years behind bars.

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