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Former Madoff accountant pleads guilty to fraud charges

[JURIST] Former outside accountant for Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive], David Friehling [case materials], pleaded guilty [plea agreement, PDF; DOJ press release, PDF] Tuesday to fraud charges in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]. Despite his guilty plea, Friehling did not admit knowledge of Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Friehling, who was charged [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] in March, pleaded guilty on nine counts, including securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website], and obstructing or impeding the enforcement of internal revenue laws. Friehling also agreed to forfeit $3,183,000 in addition to other property obtained through his services to Madoff and promised to cooperate in the government's investigation surrounding the Madoff scandal. Friehling faces a maximum sentence of 114 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 26.

Madoff's former financial chief Frank DiPascali pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in August for his role in Madoff's scheme. In June, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison [JURIST report]. Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 charges of fraud in March after agreeing to a partial judgment from the SEC [JURIST reports] for civil charges stemming from his role in defrauding investors.

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