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Defrauding Hedge Funds: Madoff’s Accountant Fudged The Numbers, SEC Says

madoffNew York (HedgeCo.Net) – The SEC has charged Bernard Madoff’s longtime accountant for his role in the creation of false books and records used in the massive Ponzi scheme.

“Paul Konigsberg’s assistance resulted in the formation of inaccurate trade confirmations each month as well as the development of phony data and records documenting the fabricated trades that were, in turn, falsely reflected in the ledgers and related books and records at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. (BMIS)” The SEC alleges.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also announced criminal charges against Konigsberg.

“Konigsberg played a vital role in Madoff’s deception of his oldest and wealthiest clients over many years,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “Konigsberg’s acquiescence, cooperation, and collaboration were essential to the Madoff fraud.”

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Konigsberg aided and abetted the falsification of books and records at BMIS from at least the mid-1990s to late 2008. Konigsberg provided tax or accounting services for more than 200 BMIS client accounts.

Madoff paid him a monthly fee of $15,000 or $20,000 as a “retainer,” Konigsberg also received fees directly from BMIS clients for the accounting services that he provided them.

The SEC alleges that Konigsberg coordinated with BMIS staff to:

  • Decide upon desired investment or tax gains and losses to be manufactured and reflected on BMIS account statements and in BMIS computer systems to ensure his clients enjoyed favorable tax treatment for their purported investment activity.
  • Confer about backdated trades and fictitious account activity entered into the computer systems to create the desired trading results.
  • Return or destroy his clients’ true BMIS account statements and design alternative fictitious account activity to be entered into the firm’s books and records and reflected on new phony account statements.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Konigsberg, who lives in Greenwich, Conn., aided and abetted the BMIS violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 17a-3, and Section 204 of the Investment Advisers Act and Rule 204-2. The SEC’s complaint seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, financial penalties, and permanent injunctions against Konigsberg.

Alex Akesson
Editor for HedgeCo.net
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