The former controller at Bernard L. Madoff’s investment firm pleaded guilty Monday to participating in Madoff’s fraud.
Enrica Cotellessa-Pitz, 53, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, falsifying books and records, and making false filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He faces up to 50 years in prison.According to a charging document, Cotellessa-Pitz helped Madoff cheat on his taxes, and heMadoff had understated his “gross receipts” by many tens of millions of dollars, according to the document, and “on numerous occasions over the years,” he was audited by IRS and the New York state tax authority. and others altered stock-trading records for audits.
In addition, Cotellessa-Pitz doctored records to disguise money transfers from Madoff’s investment advisory business — where the Ponzi scheme was taking place — to another side of his business devoted to market making and proprietary trading, the document said. That side of the business was run by Madoff’s sons.
The transfers — hundreds of millions of dollars over about a decade — made those operations appear profitable when they were not, according to the document.
Attorneys for Cotellessa-Pitz and Madoff’s sons, one of whom committed suicide, did not respond to requests for comment.
Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence for cheating investors out of billions of dollars.