This court drawing shows Frank DiPascali (right), Bernard Madoff’s right-hand man, taking the oath before being charged at the New York Federal court. DiPascali pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud and promised to cooperate with authorities. — PHOTO: AFP
‘I’m standing here today to tell you that from the early 1990s to 2008 I helped Bernie Madoff and other people carry out a fraud that hurt thousands of people. I am guilty,’ DiPascali, 52, said in Manhattan federal court in a dark suit and reading from a prepared statement.
US District Judge Richard Sullivan denied DiPascali bail. He was handcuffed and escorted out of court after pleading guilty under a cooperation deal with the government.
DiPascali did not identify the other people, only the disgraced financier, who is incarcerated at a medium-security prison in Butner, North Carolina, after a judge sentenced him on June 29 to an effective life term of 150 years.
Unlike his former boss, DiPascali pleaded guilty under a cooperation agreement with the US government but the judge who heard his plea on Tuesday was not convinced he should remain at liberty.
He pleaded guilty to 10 charges by US prosecutors including conspiracy, securities fraud, money laundering and perjury. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years each on some of the charges. Sentencing was scheduled for May 15.
Both DiPascali’s lawyer Marc Mukasey and US prosecutor Marc Litt objected, saying his cooperation was essential to finding out more about the massive fraud and their work would be more efficient if he were not in jail.
DiPascali, who worked for Madoff for 33 years from the age of 18, appeared stunned at the judge’s ruling at the end of a two-hour long court hearing.
DiPascali told the court that he recorded securities trades for clients that were ‘all fictitious’ and that in January 2006, ‘under Bernie Madoff’s direction, I lied to the SEC about the activities of the firm.’ He admitted wiring money from the Madoff firm’s London office to New York and falsifying trading tickets.
‘I don’t how I went from being an 18 year old kid who didn’t have a job to standing here in the court today,’ DiPascali said, his voice breaking with emotion. ‘I didn’t know anything about Wall Street.’ — REUTERS