WESTFIELD – Authorities arrested a 49-year-old woman who worked for convicted former financier Bernard Madoff for 25 years.
Joann Crupi was taken into custody at her Westfield home. She is charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, falsifying books and records of a broker-dealer, falsifying books and records of an investment adviser, and committing tax evasion. Another long-time Madoff employee, Annette Bongiorno of Boca Raton, Fla., was also arrested.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As everyone knows, Bernard Madoff perpetrated the largest financial fraud in history, but as we allege again today, others criminally assisted his epic crime. A house of cards is almost never built by one lone architect. As described in the superseding indictment, year after year, Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi protected and perpetuated the Madoff mirage, while putting very real money in their own pockets.
“Today’s arrests reflect the government’s ongoing commitment to ensure that all of those who are criminally responsible for this fraud will be held accountable. Together with our law enforcement partners at the FBI and IRS, we will press on with this investigation, which remains very much ongoing.”
According to the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, Crupi managed several accounts purportedly having a cumulative balance of approximately $900 million as of November 2008. She allegedly “executed” trades in the clients’ accounts only on paper, based on historically reported prices of securities that were researched in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Those trades achieved annual rates of return that had been pre-determined by Madoff. Crupi allegedly backdated the purchase dates of purported trades so that she could control the amount of gains reflected in the accounts.
The indictment also alleges that Crupi personally benefited from the fraud. In 2008, she allegedly received payments of more than $2.7 million from Madoff directly out of the corporation bank account that held investor funds. She also allegedly received more than $270,000 in off the books income.
Crupi faces a statutory maximum sentence totaling 65 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
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