Irwin Lipkin, a former controller of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, (BLMIS) pleaded guilty [press release] in a Manhattan federal court Thursday to falsifying records. The full range of charges [text, PDF] to which Lipkin has pleaded guilty include conspiracy to commit securities fraud, to make false filings with the Security Exchanges Commission (SEC) [official website], and to falsify statements in relation to documents required by Employer Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA) [DOL backgrounder], as well as a substantive count of falsifying statements in relation to documents required by ERISA. The former Madoff [JURIST news archive] employee has been accused by the FBI, Department of Labor, and the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York [official website] of working at Madoff's behest. US Attorney Preet Bharara commented:
As only the third employee of BLMIS, Irwin Lipkin had a long history with Bernie Madoff, and he proved himself to be a loyal foot soldier—consistently and repeatedly breaking the law at his boss' behest, and leaving as his legacy a successor he personally taught to continue cooking the books. And the benefits went both ways—Lipkin was able to enrich himself and his family through fake trades, and no-show jobs during his tenure and thereafter. Today's guilty plea marks another step forward in our efforts to prosecute and punish anyone and everyone who we can prove participated in this breathtaking fraud.Lipkin faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as criminal fines up to twice the gross gain or loss derived from the offenses. The sentencing is set for March 22. As part of the plea bargain, he has agreed to forfeit $170 billion of real and personal property, which will go towards compensating the victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
Lipkin is one of several former Madoff employees who have pleaded guilty to involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Madoff's brother, Peter, pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in June of this year. In March Madoff trustee Irving Picard and the owners of the New York Mets reached a $162 million settlement [JURIST report] for victims of the Ponzi scheme to avoid a trial. Former outside accountant for Madoff, David Friehling, pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to fraud charges in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in November 2009. Madoff himself received a 150-year sentence [JURIST report]. Many of the sentences have included [JURIST report] appropriating money to victims of the scheme.