Law & Justice

Westfield Woman and Former Madoff Securities Employee Found Guilty of Fraud

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NEW YORK, NY — Joann “Jodi” Crupi of Westfield, who once managed several Madoff Securities investment advisory accounts, was one of five former Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities employees found guilty of fraud in a Manhattan court Monday, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced. Daniel Bonventre, Annette Bongiorno, Jerome O’Hara and George Perez were the other four.

Crupi, 53, participated in creating numerous false and fraudulent books and records and was convicted of 13 counts, according a press release from the US Attorney’s Office. She faces a maximum of 175 years in prison and will be sentenced on July 29. Until then, the judge ordered each of the defendants subject to electronic monitoring and limited home confinement.

“As the jury unanimously found, these five defendants played crucial roles in constructing and maintaining the house of cards that was the Madoff investment fraud,” said Bharara. “These convictions, along with the prior guilty pleas of nine other defendants, demonstrate what we have believed from the earliest stages of the investigation: This largest-ever Ponzi scheme could not have been the work of one person. The trial established that the Madoff fraud began at least as far back as the early 1970s, decades before it came to light. These defendants each played an important role in carrying out the charade, propping it up, and concealing it from regulators, auditors, taxing authorities, lenders, and investors. The scheme these defendants helped perpetrate cost innumerable investors their life savings. Now it likely will cost the defendants their freedom.”

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According to the press release, evidence presented during the trial showed that Crupi, an employee in the investment advisory business for 25 years, managed several Madoff Securities investment advisory accounts purportedly having a cumulative balance of approximately $900 million as of Nov. 30, 2008. She also tracked the daily activity of the bank account into which billions of dollars of investment advisory client money was deposited, and from which investment advisory client redemptions were paid.

During the course of managing investment advisory accounts, according to the release, Crupi “executed” trades in the investment advisory clients’ accounts only on paper, based on historically reported prices of securities that they researched in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Those trades achieved annual rates of return that had been pre-determined by Madoff. She also backdated the purchase dates of purported trades so that they could control the amount of gains reflected in the investment advisory accounts, the release said.

In addition to convicting the defendants of their participation in securities fraud and related conduct in connection with the Madoff Securities Ponzi scheme, the defendants were convicted on a total of 31 counts—every count that was submitted to the jury—some of which relate to allegations of separate misconduct, including bank fraud and tax fraud offenses.

Crupi was convicted of a separate bank fraud conspiracy to assist David Kugel—a former supervisory trader in Madoff Securities’s market-making and proprietary trading operation, who pled guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government in November 2011—by creating and submitting to federally insured financial institutions falsified documents in support of personal bank loans for Kugel and members of his family.

Crupi was also convicted in connection with filing false income tax returns on their own behalf, in which each of the three defendants failed to report cash and other benefits they received from Madoff Securities.

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