Bernie Madoff’s long-time accountant never knew Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme.
Or so he said in federal district court in Manhattan today.
Nevertheless, David Friehling entered guilty pleas to nine different counts, including charges of fraud, filing false statements with the SEC and three counts of obstructing tax laws, CNBC reported.
Many will ask how he could have audited Madoff’s company without realising there was a scheme. But, that, is appears, is the issue. Authorities have not said Friehling knew about the scheme, but instead that he never conducted any sort of meaningful audit.
Friehling told the Court that the biggest mistake of his life was trusting Bernie Madoff.
He will remain free on bail as he continues to cooperate with authorities.
Authorities hope he can help them discover where any funds are, and perhaps provide information about the money and activities of any Madoff conspirators. CNBC notes that Friehling prepared tax returns for Madoff “and others” and that perhaps it is information about the “others” authorities are most interested in.
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