Madoff accomplice Daniel Bonventre jailed for 10 years

Daniel Bonventre Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bonventre and four others Madoff associates were found guilty of fraud in March

A former associate of Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for aiding the disgraced Wall Street financier in his $65bn (£42bn) fraud scheme.

Daniel Bonventre, 67, was also ordered to forfeit $155bn (£99bn).

Bonventre is one of five former Madoff employees found guilty of conspiracy in March. The others are expected to receive their sentences this week.

Madoff's Ponzi scheme fraud is estimated to have cost investors $20bn.

He is currently serving a 150-year jail term, having been found guilty and sentenced in 2009.

'Lack of remorse'

"Mr Bonventre, you lived a prestigious and luxurious life," the judge, Laura Taylor Swain, said at a hearing.

"We now all know it was supported by a massive fraud."

The US government has determined that Bonventre, as well as Madoff's former secretary, Annette Bongiorno, 66, computer programmers Jerome O'Hara, 51, and George Perez, 48, and account manager Joann Crupi, 53, are the most culpable of Mr Madoff's former associates.

Prosecutors have been pushing for longer jail terms to be handed to them, after Mr Madoff's brother, Peter, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012.

"Bonventre's hubris and lack of remorse is simply staggering,'' they wrote to the judge, arguing for significantly more than 20 years.

However, Bonventre's lawyers said that he was also fooled by Madoff, and was not as crucial to carrying out the scheme, as prosecutors were claiming.

"I was used by the ultimate con man,'' Bonventre said before his sentence was pronounced, according to the Associated Press.

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