Former Madoff employees ask New York judge to toss convictions
Five people who previously worked for Bernie Madoff have asked a New York judge to throw out their guilty convictions. All five would like a new trial or an acquittal, claiming that the jury didn't thoroughly review all the material necessary to come to a guilty verdict.
The jury returned its verdict in just three days after sitting in a courtroom listening to testimony and evidence for five months.
The five defendants were all convicted on different charges and all face sentences ranging from a maximum of 78 to 220 years in prison. Three defendants, Madoff's operations chief, secretary and account manager, were found guilty of securities fraud and tax-evasion. The two others, both computer programmers, were found guilty of fraud.
In addition to charges that the jury didn't adequately review the trial evidence, one defendant's attorney also claims that the jury may have been influenced by ethnicity. One juror told a New York newspaper that she was happy with the verdict because "a lot of the victims were Jewish," and she was, too.
The trial lasted five months and was one of the longest-running white collar crimes case in New York history. It's unclear whether a judge will grant an acquittal or a new trial, but a lawyer for one defendant -- Madoff's account manager -- maintain that his clients did not receive a fair trial.
This same attorney claims that prosecutors made false statements about the defendants and that they were "stripped of their right to a fair and just trial."
The Madoff case was a famous $17 billion fraud case, but the lines are blurred when it comes to how much help he had defrauding his customers. Only time will tell whether the judge in this case grants and acquittal or retrial, but it's likely that people around the country will be watching closely.