March 24, 2014 – A U.S. federal jury has convicted five former employees of imprisoned investment manager Bernard Madoff on charges they helped their boss hide scams that cheated investors out of billions of dollars.
Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term, after pleading guilty to the giant fraud, known as a Ponzi scheme. The decades-long scam, which inflated investment earnings and cost investors nearly $20 billion, collapsed during the 2008 global financial crisis.
The list of victims included some of the biggest names in American sports and entertainment, including retired baseball icon Sandy Koufax, Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, entertainer Zsa Zsa Gabor and talk show host Larry King.
The prosecution’s case was largely built on the testimony of Madoff’s former finance chief and five other insiders who pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate.
For their part, defense lawyers argued their clients were victims of Madoff’s fraud as well. They argued their clients lost millions of dollars they had invested with Madoff.