NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The way Frank DiPascali tells it, Bernard Madoff planted the seeds of deception for his $17 billion Ponzi scheme back in the 1970s, when his firm was in a small office at 110 Wall Street.
Madoff “would very loudly proclaim” that he had made a killing on an investment in Europe, DiPascali recalled. DiPascali, a longtime Madoff employee, later began to suspect the words were calculated to give the impression the business was “somehow backed up by his deals and investments overseas.”
Whether Madoff’s inner circle actually believed that lie or not has become central to a trial in federal court in Manhattan in which DiPascali is the government’s star witness. He took the stand Monday to give an inside look at one of history’s biggest securities fraud while testifying against five of his former co-workers at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.