Madoff's right-hand man is jailed for role in $65bn fraud

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The Independent Online

Frank DiPascali, Bernard Madoff's right-hand man for 33 years, was jailed last night after admitting that he faked thousands of documents and lied to regulators to help his boss perpetrate the largest fraud in history.

In a Manhattan courthouse he claimed that he wasn't the only one who knew what Madoff was up to, and he promised to help prosecutors launch criminal cases against others – something he said would be more useful to thousands of victims than any apology. "I was loyal to him," DiPascali said. "I ended up being loyal to a terrible, terrible fault ... I don't know how I went from an 18-year-old kid who just happened to have a job to someone standing before you today."

Even the government argued that DiPascali should remain free on bail while he assists the investigation, but Judge Richard Sullivan ignored the recommendation and sent the 52-year-old straight to jail. DiPascali entered guilty pleas on 10 counts ranging from securities and investment adviser fraud to money laundering, tax evasion, perjury and falsifying records. Together, they carry a maximum prison sentence of 125 years.

Madoff is already serving 150 years in prison, but has been stonewalling investigators, claiming he acted alone. But yesterday DiPascali said: "There was a simple fact that Bernie Madoff knew, that I knew and other people knew. It was all fake. It was all fiction." Some $65bn (£39bn) that Madoff's investors believed they had in their accounts was in fact never there. Many have lost all their savings. "I know my apology means almost nothing," he said. "But I hope my actions going forward with the government will mean something."