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Were Bernie Madoff's Secretaries The Engine That Ran That Ponzi Scheme?

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According to the SEC that may have been the case for the two gals arrested today (JoAnn Crupi and Annette Bongiorno) in connection with the scam, who apparently did more than just schedule hand job appointments.

Here's a description of Crupi's responsibilities.

At the beginning of each year, Madoff communicated to Crupi the rate of return the D Funds were to achieve that year. Crupi ensured that the D Funds "earned" this rate of return by using historical prices obtained from printouts from a Bloomberg terminal (such terminals facilitate access to financial information) to assemble a fictional "basket" of profitable trades, using Excel to calculate the profit of the basket. Additionally, each individual stock in the basket was hedged with fictitious puts and calls. Once Crupi had selected a profitable basket of trades, she asked DiPascali to view the basket, and then she or DiPascali would instruct the data entry clerks to run a computer program to simulate the purchase and sale of the basket by each of the D Funds, and to create confirmations and statements reflecting those trades. Crupi kept a daily record of the funds deposited in and withdrawn from the Main Ponzi Scheme Account, and memorialized this information daily on index cards and sheets that she maintained by hand.

Bernie Madoff Would've Been Hopeless Without His Secretaries [Daily Intel]