Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And Another One Bites The Dust

NEW YORK — Bernard Madoff's longtime accountant was arrested on fraud charges Wednesday, accused of aiding the man who has admitted cheating thousands of investors out of billions of dollars in the past two decades.

The charges against David Friehling, 49, come as federal authorities turn their attention to those who they believe helped Madoff fool 4,800 investors into thinking that their longtime investments were growing comfortably each year. Friehling is the first person to be arrested since the Madoff scandal broke three months ago.

Friehling ran an accounting office in a nondescript suburban building north of New York City, and quickly drew scrutiny. Experts in accounting said it would be preposterous for such a tiny firm to audit properly an operation the size of Madoff's.

He had served as Madoff's auditor from 1991 through 2008 while he worked at the sole practitioner at Friehling & Horowitz. He was paid a tidy sum by Madoff: Prosecutors said he made between $12,000 and $14,500 a month from 2004 to 2007, or $144,000 to $174,000 a year.

Friehling faces up to 105 years in prison if he is convicted. He is charged with securities fraud, aiding and abetting investment adviser fraud and four counts of filing false audit reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

And this...

Federal prosecutors in New York and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are preparing to file a legal action against Ruth Madoff, wife of jailed fraudster Bernie, amid fears that she will try to flee the United States or move her $70m fortune beyond their reach.

Department of Justice sources told the Observer that prosecutors were "working around the clock" to build a criminal complaint against Mrs Madoff in an effort to ask a judge to freeze her bank accounts, which they believe are filled with the proceeds of her husband's crimes.

And this....

US prosecutors on Tuesday targeted wealth held by fraudster Bernard Madoff's two sons, in a widening attempt to recover billions of stolen dollars.

They also argued that Madoff, 70, must be denied bail at a hearing this Thursday because he is likely to try to escape, possibly to France, where he has a luxury seaside home.

Madoff was jailed last week after pleading guilty to 11 counts of fraud, money laundering, perjury and theft in what may be the biggest scam in history. He will be sentenced on June 16 and is likely to be condemned to life in prison.

The attempt by prosecutors to seize 31.55 million dollars from Andrew and Mark Madoff, both close business associates of their father, followed a similar move to seize the assets of Madoff's wife Ruth.

No one else has been charged in the multi-billion-dollar investment fraud and Madoff claims he acted alone.

However, speculation is growing that his immediate family are under scrutiny over the decades-long fraud, in which billions of dollars given by wealthy investors disappeared into Madoff's personal accounts.

Which reminds me of the Whiffenpoof song:

We are poor little lambs
Who have lost our way.
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We are little black sheep
Who have gone astray.
Baa! Baa! Baa!

Gentlemen songsters off on a spree
Damned from here to eternity
God have mercy on such as we.
Baa! Baa! Baa!

It would be nice if they sing on their way to jail.


anne of seattle said...

Maybe the poem/song should say, "little GANGSTERS" rather than little songsters!


Laura said...

That would make a nice substitute!