Thursday, a defense attorney told jurors that Liz Weintraub, Bernard Madoff's former head of information technology, who died in February of 2008, was responsible for devising the deceptive code for systems that created fake client records and other related projects.
The attorney’s comments shine the spotlight on Weintraub, who ran systems for 25 years at Madoff's defunct firm. Weintraub died in February 2008, about 10 months before Bernard Madoff was arrested in December of 2008 and the $17 billion Ponzi imploded.
Even though Weintraub is deceased, her role has been resurrected during the trial.
"Her presence has invaded these proceedings like a ghost," lawyer Gordon Mehler said in Manhattan federal court, according to a story in Bloomberg News. "Maybe it's true one should never speak ill of the dead, but that's Liz Weintraub."
Mehler's comments raise the possibility that Weintraub was responsible for the deceptive computer systems that enabled the Ponzi scheme to grow undetected for decades and trick thousands of investors. While it's impossible to know what Weintraub did to enable the fraud, mentioning her involvement could help plant seeds of doubt in the jury.
Weintraub was the boss of the defendants, Jerome O'Hara and George Perez, who helped write and develop software code for more than a decade after they joined the firm in the mid 1990s. They went on trial in October along with three other Madoff aides, accused of aiding the fraud.
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