Madoff Scandal Widens to Computer Programmers
Two computer programmers who the government has charged with creating and maintaining the software that enabled Bernie Madoff perpetuate his long-running Ponzi scheme were arrested and taken to Manhattan federal court today. The two former employees of Madoff's brokerage firm - Jerome O'Hara of Malvern, N.Y., and George Perez of East Brunswick, N.J. - are charged with creating programs that generated a completely fictitious paper trail. They allegedly generated phony customer account statements and fraudulent trading confirmations from the London Stock Exchange.
Both men worked for Madoff for at least fifteen years. They reportedly confronted Madoff about the scam in September 2006. According to the criminal complaint, they refused to participate any more. At that point they were given "hush money" to keep it a secret. The "hush money" involved bonus bonues of $60,000 and a 25 percent pay increase.
An FBI agent found a note from that conversation in O'Hara's desk. The note said, "I won't lie any longer."
The men confronted Madoff four months after they had already closed their brokerage accounts, withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars each.