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Madoff Accountant David Friehling to Plead Guilty

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By Kamika Dunlap on October 30, 2009 12:50 PM

Things aren't quite adding up for David Friehling, the former accountant for Ponzi-scheme operator Bernard Madoff.

He is expected to plead guilty to fraud and other charges, according to a letter today from prosecutors to U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

According to the latest update by Reuters, Friehling is expected to plead guilty to securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, making false statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and breaking tax laws, the office of the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan said in its court filing.

If you do the math, the charges carry a potential prison term of up to 108 years in prison. In March, prosecutors filed criminal charges against Friehling, accusing him of not conducting proper audits. His cooperation with prosecutors could substantially reduce that number.

Authorities said Friehling helped enable Madoff to avoid scrutiny by falsely certifying from 1991 to 2008 that Madoff's company had a "clean audit record."

Friehling, a small time auditor, worked out of a suburban New York office. A bean counter job isn't glamorous but someone's got to do it right? The Associated Press reports, that he appeared to have rubber stamped Madoff's records.

While perhaps not the originator of Madoff's enormous shell game, authorities cast him as someone who could have brought it to an end years ago. If he had done his job as an auditor, Madoff's investors might not be out nearly as many billions.

Madoff, himself, is serving 150 years in prison -- the maximum penalty the judge could give him for his "extraordinarily evil" Ponzi scheme which bilked billions from investors.

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