Former Madoff aide surrenders in Florida

By the CNN Wire Staff


NEW YORK (CNN) -- A former aide to Bernard Madoff has surrendered to authorities in Florida and will soon appear in New York to face charges related to Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme.

Annette Bongiorno, 62, turned herself in to the U.S. Marshals Service in Florida on Tuesday after her bail was rejected by a district judge in New York, according to U.S. Marshals Deputy Wayne Pickering.

annette_bongiorno.03.jpg
Annette Bongiorno after surrendering to authorities

She had been previously approved for bail, but that right was later revoked by Judge Laura Taylor Swain over concerns of flight risk, given that Bongiorno has access to millions of dollars, according to court documents.

Bongiorno had been booked at the Palm Beach County jail, but was later transferred into the custody of the marshals, said Palm Beach police spokesman Eric Davis.

Bongiorno's attorney Roland Riopelle said his client "was disappointed but stoic." He would not comment further on the case.

She is said to have managed investment accounts for some of Madoff's largest and most important customers, including Carl Shapiro, Stanley Chais and Jeffry Picower, said Madoff's secretary Eleanor Squillari.

"(Bongiorno) was running the accounts for the favored clients," Squillari said. "She really was the head of her department in the investment advisory part of the business."

The government previously filed civil complaints against Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, both longtime Madoff employees who worked as supervisors of his "back office" staff. The suits are intended to retrieve millions of dollars in assets -- including homes and luxury cars -- that the two allegedly received while involved in Madoff's scheme.

Earlier this month, Madoff's son Mark Madoff committed suicide in his Manhattan apartment two years to the day after his father was arrested for swindling $50 billion from investors in the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.

Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. --

-- CNN's Allan Chernoff contributed to this report. To top of page

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