On December 19, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged a longtime Bernie Madoff employee with falsifying books and records in order to hide Madoff’s fraudulent investment advisory operations from regulators.
The SEC alleges that Enrica Cotellessa-Pitz, who worked at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BMIS) for more than 30 years, assisted in falsifying BMIS’s internal accounting records in order to misclassify hundreds of millions of dollars of income purportedly generated by BMIS’s investment advisory operations. Cotellessa-Pitz also falsified financial statements filed with the SEC and other regulators as well as materials that were prepared to deceive SEC staff examiners, federal and state tax auditors, and other external reviewers.
The SEC previously charged BMIS’s Director of Operations David Bonventre with falsifying books and records to hide and obfuscate Madoff’s advisory operations. According to the SEC’s complaint against Cotellessa-Pitz filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, she played a central role in falsifying these records as directed by Madoff and Bonventre. Madoff used the false records to artificially improve the firm’s reported revenue and income as well as to deceive regulators who sought to review the firm’s operations and financial results.