Former CFO's Cooperation with Officials Led to Arrests
By MEGAN CHUCHMACH
Mar. 17, 2010
Two former computer programmers who worked for notorious Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff were indicted today on charges of conspiracy and falsifying records.
Former computer programmer for Bernard Madoff Jerome O'Hara, left, exits Manhattan Federal Court with his attorney Gordon Mahler following his arraignment, in this Nov. 13, 2009 file photo, in New York.
Jerome O'Hara, 47, and George Perez, 44, allegedly "developed and maintained computer programs that generate false and fraudulent records," the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said.
They are each charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of falsifying records of a broker-dealer, and one count of falsifying records of an investment adviser.
O'Hara's attorney Gordon Mehler told ABCNews.com, "We intend to plead not guilty and therefore Mr. O'Hara is presumed innocent even though it has been more than four months since he's been arrested."
"Mr. Perez will be pleading not guilty to the indictment, which is merely an accusation," Perez's attorney Larry Krantz said. "We will be defending him zealously against the charges."
Madoff's former CFO Frank DiPascali, who pleaded guilty last August to multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, perjury and income tax evasion, has been cooperating with officials and reportedly provided information that led to the indictments against O'Hara and Perez.
In a court filing in December, DiPascali's attorney Mark Mukasey wrote of DiPascali's "fruits of…assistance" and said "information he provided contributed to the arrest of three individuals to date."
Mukasey identified O'Hara and Perez but didn't name the third party.
Federal prosecutors filed papers in late February indicating that DiPascali's cooperation with prosecutors will result in an "extraordinary letter" seeking leniency for DiPascali, who faces up to 125 years in prison. He remains behind bars because, even though prosecutors have asked that DiPascali be allowed to return to his New Jersey home prior to sentencing, the judge in the case has rebuffed their requests and set DiPascali's bail at $10 million.
If convicted on all charges, O'Hara and Perez face 30 years behind bars.
ABC's Drew Sandholm contributed to this report.