Tallahassee Journal

Madoff case prosecutors join private firm

Madoff case prosecutors join private firm

Federal prosecutors who won convictions that led to prison terms for former employees of Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff are changing legal teams. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Schwartz and John Zach are joining the law firm headed by prominent attorney David Boies. They will help launch a global investigations and white-collar crime defense practice area, according to a Monday announcement by the firm.635566555427429398-AP-Sony-Hack

The new team will focus in part on banks and other financial clients that face government investigations and litigation, the firm said. Schwartz and Zach were key members of the team that won conspiracy and fraud convictions last year against five former Madoff staffers. The convicted plotters include Daniel Bonventre, Madoff’s former operations manager; Annette Bongiorno, the fraud mastermind’s longtime assistant; JoAnn Crupi, who oversaw the company’s main bank account; and former computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez.

Following federal court sentencings in December, the five ex-employees are scheduled to begin serving prison terms that range from 2½ years to 10 years for their respective roles in the fraud that stole as much as $20 billion from thousands of investors. Joining Schwartz and Zach at Boies’ law firm is fellow Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Skinner. His tenure as a Manhattan federal prosecutor included serving as co-lead counsel in the prosecution of more than 40 doctors, lawyers and Russian organized crime figures in a $250 million health care fraud.

It is common for federal prosecutors who have successfully handled major cases to leave government service and take their legal skills to the private defense bar. Founded in 1997, Boies, Schiller and Flexner is among the nation’s most prominent law firms. High profile lawsuits handled by the firm include the case in which former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg alleges the federal government illegally took an 80% stake in AIG when it bailed out the insurance giant and charged excessively high interest rates for the loan.