Madoff Five Judge Delays Sentencing Two Months to Sept. 15

Jul 25, 2014 9:59 am ET

(Updates with background in third paragraph.)

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- The sentencing of five former aides to Bernard Madoff was delayed until mid-September after a federal judge in New York said “voluminous” paperwork required a postponement of hearings originally scheduled for next week.

The three days of hearings will begin Sept. 15, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said in a court order. She oversaw a five-month trial in Manhattan federal court which ended in convictions for all five defendants. Sentencing for the three men and two women had been set to begin July 28.

A Manhattan jury in March found them guilty of aiding Madoff’s $17.5 billion Ponzi scheme for decades. The convictions, following the first criminal trial stemming from the fraud, gave prosecutors a sweeping victory in an investigation that spanned more than five years.

Prosecutors have asked Swain to sentence the five aides to longer prison terms than those recommended by the U.S. Probation Office, which suggested terms ranging from eight to 20 years each. The U.S. said they deserve more time behind because they are still denying their roles in the fraud.

Annette Bongiorno, who ran the investment advisory unit at the center of the fraud, and Daniel Bonventre, the ex-operations chief of Madoff’s broker-dealer business, deserve 20 years each behind bars, the probation office said. Joann Crupi, who managed large accounts, should get 14 years, while computer programmers George Perez and Jerome O’Hara, convicted of automating the scam as it grew rapidly in the 1990s, deserve eight years each, according to probation officials.

Madoff, 76, who hatched the fraud in the 1970s, targeted thousands of wealthy investors, Jewish charities, celebrities and retirees. The scam unraveled in 2008 when the economic crisis led to more withdrawals than he could afford to pay. Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 and is serving a 150-year term.

The case is U.S. v. O’Hara, 10-cr-00228, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).