Bernie Madoff's right-hand man Frank DiPascali was released on $10 million bail Tuesday. In exchange for his continued cooperation with the FBI and prosecutors, who are still trying to track missing investor funds from convicted Ponzi schemer Madoff's $65 billion scam, DiPascali has been allowed to go home to his family kin New Jersey wearing an ankle bracelet as he awaits sentencing.
DiPascali, 53, secured the nine required cosigners to secure his $10 million bond. The other bail conditions included securing the bond with $2 million in cash and property, home confinement and electronic monitoring. DiPasclai has been behind bars for more than 10 months since pleading guilty last summer to taking part in Madoff's scheme.
Federal prosecutors filed papers in late February indicating that DiPascali's cooperation with prosecutors would result in an "extraordinary letter" seeking leniency for DiPascali. Once Madoff's chief financial officer, DiPascali faces up to 125 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, perjury and income tax evasion.
DiPascali worked for Madoff for more than three decades, is cooperating with authorities, and prosecutors had cited his cooperation in asking the court that he be allowed to return to his New Jersey home.
In a February 19 letter to Judge Richard Sullivan, prosecutors said DiPascali deserved leniency because he was providing "substantial assistance." Only portions of the letter were made public, since prosecutors said it would cause "considerable harm" to release other portions.
"[DiPascali] has already provided substantial assistance to the government in its investigation and prosecution of others," said the letter. Prosecutors are thought to be building cases against Madoff's sons, Mark and Andrew, and his brother Peter.
Under the terms of his guilty plea, DiPascali agreed to "tell all and name names." DiPascali pleaded guilty at an August 11 hearing at which he apologized for his actions and described the transactions that Madoff pretended to be making on behalf of his investment clients as "all fake."
During the hearing, DiPascali read a statement into the record explaining how he was an 18 year-old high school student from Queens, N.Y. when he joined Bernie Madoff in 1975, and he didn't know how he became the person who stood in court today. "I didn't know anything about Wall Street," DiPascali said.
"There was one simple fact that Bernie Madoff knew that I knew: It was all fake, it was all fictitious," he said, adding that he "perpetrated the illusion" that trades were taking place when none actually took place. "I knew no trades were happening," he said.
At the end of his statement, DiPascali's voice cracked as he said, "There is no excuse. I regret everything that I did. I accept complete responsibility for my actions."
Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.