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Two Madoff computer admins indicted

Pair charge accused falsifying financial records

March 18, 2010 04:33 PM ET

Computerworld - Two former computer administrators who worked for convicted financial fraudster Bernard Madoff's investment firm were indicted this week on charges of conspiracy and falsifying financial records.

Jerome O'Hara, 47, of Malverne, N.Y., and George Perez , 44, of East Brunswick, N.J., each face a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

A statement released yesterday by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York said the two men started working for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC (BLMIS) in the early 1990s. Both O'Hara and Perez were responsible for maintaining computer programs that supported Madoff's investment advisory business.

Between 2003 and 2008, Madoff's company's books were reviewed five times by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a European accounting firm that was conducting a review of the company on behalf of a European client.

O'Hara and Perez are alleged to have helped Madoff and his aide, Frank DiPascali, generate "numerous false and fraudulent records" to deceive investigators during the reviews.

Both men are alleged to have known that the "special programs" they developed were generating fraudulent information, the statement said.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term after pleading guilty to running a massive Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of billions of dollars over a period of several years.

DiPascali, who pleaded guilty to helping Madoff in the scheme, is awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 125 years in prison.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at Twitter @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed Vijayan RSS. His e-mail address is jvijayan@computerworld.com.

Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.



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