Five former aides to imprisoned financier Bernard L. Madoff were convicted Monday of charges that they helped their boss conceal his massive Ponzi scheme for years.
A federal jury in New York found back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez guilty on all counts, including securities fraud and conspiracy to defraud clients.
The five-month trial was the first to result from Madoff’s massive fraud. He was arrested in December 2008 for running a Ponzi scheme that is estimated to have cost investors more than $17 billion of principal.
“These five defendants played crucial roles in constructing and maintaining the house of cards that was the Madoff investment fraud,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Madoff, 75, is serving a 150-year-prison sentence after pleading guilty in March 2009.
●Tera Group created a framework for buying and selling swaps linked to Bitcoin that would let investors hedge risk from trading the digital currency. The Summit, N.J.-based firm announced Monday that it drafted a bilateral agreement that provides a legal template for trading Bitcoin swaps. Tera Group is seeking clearance from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
●Cisco said it plans to spend more than $1 billion during the next two years to build up its cloud-computing network. Cisco plans to use the money to expand its data centers for the new service, to be called Cisco Cloud Services. The networking company provides cloud-related services, including the online conference provider WebEx.
●J.C. Penney’s reinstalled chief executive Mike Ullman is poised to get a big pay increase as the department store chain shows some signs of a turnaround. J.C. Penney could increase Ullman’s base salary to $1.5 million, from $810,606 for the fiscal year that ended Feb. 1, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. He also could get $5.5 million in stock awards and is eligible to receive a $3 million bonus.
●Google is hoping to make its Internet-connected eyewear more stylish and less geeky as part of a partnership with Italian eyewear company Luxottica Group, the makers of Ray-Ban and Oakley frames. Google is also planning to tap into the more than 5,000 stores that Luxottica runs in the United States to help sell Glass once the device is released on the market.
●The lawyer hired to represent North Carolina’s environmental agency during a federal investigation into its regulation of Duke Energy’s coal ash dumps once represented the utility company in a different criminal probe. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has hired Mark T. Calloway of Charlotte to help respond to 20 grand jury subpoenas the agency received after the Feb. 2 spill at Duke’s Eden plant, which coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge. Duke has been issued at least two subpoenas as part of that investigation. Environmental agency spokesman Drew Elliot said that he saw no conflict of interest in Calloway’s prior representation of Duke.
— From news services
●9 a.m.: S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.
●10 a.m.: New-home sales for February and consumer confidence index for March.