United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
August 03, 2010
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Seeks Forfeiture of Additional Assets Controlled by Former Bernard L. Madoff Securities LLC Employee Annette Bongiorno
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the filing of an amended civil Complaint seeking the forfeiture of a total of more than $5.1 million in assets from ANNETTE BONGIORNO. BONGIORNO had spent more than 40 years working for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC ("BLMIS"), the fraudulent investment advisory business owned and operated by BERNARD L. MADOFF, and the assets allegedly subject to forfeiture constitute property traceable to proceeds of MADOFF's fraud.
Today's amended verified Complaint follows the filing of two civil forfeiture Complaints on June 22, 2010, seeking the forfeiture of various assets controlled by BONGIORNO and another long-time MADOFF employee, JOANNE CRUPI. According to the verified amended Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court today, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York has been able to trace more than $2 million in additional assets under BONGIORNO's control -- including houses in Florida and New York -- to her allegedly knowing participation in the massive Ponzi scheme operated through the investment advisory business of BLMIS.
The amended Complaint seeks to forfeit property directly traceable to the BLMIS fraud, or property traceable to such property, including the following:
1. A house in Manhasset, New York, for which BONGIORNO paid approximately $1.4 million.
2. A house in Boca Raton, Florida, for which BONGIORNO paid approximately $862,000.
3. Approximately $1.1 million currently or formerly held in accounts at Citibank, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and HSBC;
4. A 2005 Bentley Continental, for which BONGIORNO paid approximately $182,605;
5. A 2007 Mercedes Benz, for which BONGIORNO paid approximately $90,000;
6. Another 2007 Mercedes Benz, for which BONGIORNO paid approximately $66,000; and
7. Approximately $1.3 million paid towards a luxury condominium.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York will ask that property forfeited in the civil case announced today be liquidated and used to compensate victims of the BLMIS fraud. According to the amended Complaint, a number of former BLMIS employees have already been charged criminally. No criminal charges have been filed against BONGIORNO.
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service; the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration and Office of the Inspector General; and the United States Marshals Service. Mr. BHARARA also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation Trustee for their assistance.
This case was brought in coordination with President BARACK OBAMA's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, on which Mr. BHARARA serves as a Co-Chair of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group. President OBAMA established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
Assistant United States Attorneys LISA A. BARONI, JULIAN J. MOORE, BARBARA A. WARD, and MATTHEW L. SCHWARTZ are in charge of the cases.