Frank DiPascali, CFO to convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff, turned in a guilty plea yesterday, as expected. He fessed up to ten charges, including securities fraud, conspiracy, falsifying records and international money laundering. "It was all fictitious," he said, admitting that he "knew it was wrong at the time." Yet, he didn't say a word about anyone other than Madoff.
Each of the charges carries a term of five to 20 years in prison, not to mention fines of up to $5 million. But his cooperation is expected to lessen the blow a bit, though we'll have to wait until at least May 2010 to find out what the outcome will be. We don't even know if DiPascali will be able to wait for sentencing from his own home -- nothing on bail has been determined. The prosecution has asked for a $2.5 million bond, secured by equity in DiPascali's sister's home and co-signed by "three financially responsible individuals," according to a Reuters report.
The May sentencing date suggests that prosecutors will be willing to deal, based on the information DiPascali provides in the interim. District Judge Richard Sullivan, as well, hopes that information will be forthcoming, which he expressed to one of the victims who spoke at the hearing.
The former CFO worked for Madoff for more than two decades and is believed to have detailed knowledge of how the whole operation worked, an assumption tacitly confirmed with the guilty plea -- though more disclosures by DiPascali (or further investigation) will reveal the extent.
Well, so much for Madoff's claim that he acted alone.