Feds Seek Millions From Madoff Employee


The U.S. Attorney's office filed suit to reclaim more millions for victims of Bernard Madoff, this time seeking some $5.1 million in assets from Annette Bongiorno, an employee of Madoff for some 40 years, and her husband. The assets include over $2 million in cash plus titles to homes in New York and Florida, and luxury cars.

Specifically, the complaint seeks $1.1 million currently or formerly held at Citibank, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and HSBC; $1.3 million paid toward a luxury condo; a Manhasset, NY home that Bongiorno bought for approximately $1.4 million; a Boca Raton, Fl home that she paid approximately $862,000 for; a 2005 Bentley Continental Bongiorno paid some $180,000 for; and two 2007 Mercedes that she got for approximately $90,000 and $66,000.

In the forfeiture complaint, the U.S. Attorney establishes that Bongiorno knew about the fraud, noting that she communicated with clients about their "investments," answering their questions, fabricating related documents and distributing the documents to them.

The complaint also details how she acquired so much money from the fraud that taking these assets is appropriate. Specifically, Bongiorno's salary plus bonus for 11 years totaled approximately $3 million. Additionally, a Madoff account she opened and put less than a million into "earned" so much that she withdrew approximately $14.5 million from it -- a return of over 1,500%. Her "real" return was much higher, as the account statement indicated it held over $50 million.

This forfeiture action enlarges and follows one filed on June 22 against Bongiorno. Presumably if prosecutors can identify more assets to target, they will, and we will see another complaint in due course. With some $17 million allegedly acquired from the fraud and "only" $5.1 million targeted so far, Bongiorno's got a lot more to give back.