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The longtime secretary to the imprisoned Ponzi king Bernard Madoff plans to defend herself from the witness stand at her trial on charges she aided the historic fraud, her lawyer said.
Attorney Roland Riopelle told the trial judge in a letter Saturday that Annette Bongiorno expects to testify, though he noted that she could change her mind at the last minute. He notified the judge because Bongiorno’s defense presentation is expected to begin Monday.
It will follow several days of testimony by another defendant, Daniel Bonventre, Madoff’s former director of operations. Bonventre, Bongiorno, and three other former Madoff employees are accused of assisting Madoff in a fraud that cheated thousands of investors out of nearly $20 billion.