Malverne man convicted in Madoff case

O’Hara charged with conspiracy; faces 100 years in prison


A Malverne resident was one of five former aides of the imprisoned Wall Street Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff who were convicted of conspiracy and fraud on March 24 after a five-month criminal trial focusing on their involvement in the nearly $20 billion scam.

Jerome O’Hara, 51, of Malverne, a former computer programmer for Madoff’s firm, was convicted of investment fraud after jurors deliberated for four days in a Manhattan federal court.

“As the jury unanimously found, these five defendants played crucial roles in constructing and maintaining the house of cards that was the Madoff investment fraud,” said Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. “These convictions … demonstrate what we have believed from the earliest stages of the investigation — this largest-ever Ponzi scheme could not have been the work of one person.”

According to legal documents from U.S. District Court, which rely on statements from nearly a half-dozen ex-Madoff workers who pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate, O’Hara, who was employed by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1990, developed bogus statements and reports to fool customers and auditors of the firm’s bank accounts. With an alternate set of books manipulated in periodic audits by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, O’Hara tampered with recorded numbers of investment shares and transactions so that it would appear as if the firm had significantly fewer clients, a number that often changed from audit to audit, than its actual total of more than 4,000 accounts.

O’Hara was found guilty of eight charges of defrauding customers, engaging in securities fraud and falsifying records, and faces a maximum of 100 years in prison.

As of press time, his attorney, Gordon Mehler, was not available for comment.

O’Hara is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29 by U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who ordered him to be outfitted with electronic monitoring bracelets while under house arrest.