White-Collar Crime

Compliance Chief Peter Madoff Admits Unknowing Role in Brother Bernard Madoff's Massive Ponzi Scheme

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Portrayed by a federal prosecutor as a criminally incompetent chief compliance officer, Peter Madoff took a plea on Friday in federal court in Manhattan concerning the role he played in the massive Ponzi scheme his brother Bernard Madoff operated for decades under the guise of a hedge fund.

The 66-year-old admitted he doctored documents to help lull the Securities and Exchange Commission into a false sense that all was well with the scheme as he worked side by side with his brother for decades. However, Peter Madoff said he was in “total shock” when Bernard Madoff, who is currently serving a 150-year sentence, admitted in 2008 that the securities firm’s profits were fictional, according to the Associated Press and the Globe and Mail.

Peter Madoff, a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, said he had persuaded multiple close relatives to invest millions in the fraud. “My world was destroyed. I lost everything I worked for,” he told the court, apologizing for his role.

He also admitted he had tried to hide millions in income from the Internal Revenue Service.

Peter Madoff is expected to get a 10-year prison term, which he agreed not to contest, and forfeit all of his assets when he is sentenced. Meanwhile, he is free on $5 million bail.

Calling Peter Madoff an enabler of “the largest fraud in human history,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicated that the investigation is still ongoing. “We are not yet finished calling to account everyone responsible for the epic fraud of Bernard Madoff and the epic pain of his many victims,” he stated.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Peter Madoff, Compliance Chief for Brother’s Securities Firm, to Take 10-Year, $143B Plea Deal”

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