Bernard Madoff’s auditor yesterday (Tuesday) pleaded guilty to fraud but
denied knowing about the $65bn Ponzi scheme, according to
David Friehling appeared before judges in Manhattan to plead guilty to
charges of securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, making false statements
to regulators and breaking tax laws.
Based in rural New York and supposedly Madoff’s auditor for the past 17
years, Friehling told the court that he conducted no independent auditing, and
no verification of financial statements or tax returns. Friehling admitted he
had investments with Madoff valued at $500,000.
Reuters reports that in statements Friehling called his involvement with
Madoff the “biggest mistake of my life”. But added that at “no time” was he
aware of the Ponzi scheme.
Friehling is one of only three people so far to face criminal charges in
relation to the scandal. Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year jail term while
Frank DiPascali, Madoff’s trusted deputy, is in jail awaiting sentence.
Friehling was allowed to remain free pending sentencing next year.
The Reuters report quotes Preet Bharara, US attorney for Manhattan, saying:
“David Friehling was one of the key enablers of Bernard Madoff’s historic
fraud… and will now assist us in holding others accountable for their
involvement in Madoff’s epic fraud against so many victims.”
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