Madoff accountant pleads guilty

David Friehling agrees to nine fraud charges and faces up to 114 years in prison.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)

Madoff: Lifestyles of the rich and infamous
Bernard Madoff, the man behind an alleged $50 billion fraud, has a yacht named 'Bull,' owns several luxurious homes and may even have had two private planes on call.
What should U.S. nuclear power policy be?
  • It's a safe, clean alternative right now
  • More safety testing is needed
  • We shouldn't use it

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The longtime accountant of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple fraud charges in connection to Madoff's notorious, decades-long Ponzi scheme.

David G. Friehling, 49, agreed to a nine-count guilty plea that included securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, making false filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and tax law violations.

Standing in a 14th-floor federal courthouse in Manhattan, Friehling expressed remorse for those he harmed, including his family, who lost $500,000 in savings with Madoff.

"I am truly sorry for the suffering of all my victims," Friehling told the court.

However, he maintains that he "committed these crimes as an independent auditor" and was unaware that he was involved in Madoff's far-flung Ponzi scheme.

With much of the money from Madoff's scandal still unaccounted for, District Judge Alvin Hellerstein advised Friehling that as part of the guilty plea, he must provide "any tangible evidence" requested by the U.S. attorney, the FBI, or the Internal Revenue Service in relation to the ongoing investigation into Madoff's finances.

Federal prosecutors claim that Friehling's accounting firm, Friehling and Horowitz, acted as the accounting arm of Madoff's corrupt enterprise from the early 1990s until Dec. 11, 2008, when Madoff's crimes came to light. Friehling created the firm's "certified and purportedly audited financial statements, including balance sheets, statements of income, statements of cash flows, and reports of internal control," according to a complaint filed in March.

Friehling, who remains free on $2.5 million bond, will be sentenced on Feb. 26. While his plea could result in a lighter sentence, the judge made it clear leniency is by no means guaranteed. "I'll be looking at the extent of your cooperation when devising a just sentence for you," Hellerstein said.

Friehling could be sentenced to a maximum of 114 years in prison.

A graduate of Cornell University's prestigious School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Friehling became a certified accountant in 1987. He said he was introduced to Madoff in the late 1980s by his father-in-law, who originally worked as an accountant for Madoff's father-in-law dating back to 1963. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.