NEW YORK (AP) -- A 79-year-old former New York accounting firm executive who did work for some of Bernard Madoff's most important clients has earned leniency at sentencing because his cooperation provided new insights into history's largest financial fraud, prosecutors said.
In a filing late Thursday in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors wrote Paul Konigsberg provided valuable information by admitting his crimes, including offenses the government didn't know about, and by disclosing facts vital to the investigation of others.
Konigsberg, scheduled for sentencing Thursday, began formally cooperating after pleading guilty last year to conspiracy and falsifying books and records. But prosecutors said he had spoken to the government about his crimes two years earlier, providing some investigative leads and corroboration of evidence.
Madoff, 77, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after he revealed in December 2008 that his fraudulent private investment business serving thousands of customers had squandered about $20 billion in assets over several decades, leaving only a few hundred million dollars to disperse to investors feeling the pinch of the nation's financial crisis. A court-appointed monitor has since recovered over $10 billion for investors.
Prosecutors said Konigsberg was helpful in significant ways, including by aiding the investigation that resulted in a deal last year with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in which the bank agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges stemming from its business relationship with Madoff.
The government said Konigsberg met Madoff in the 1970s. Eventually, Madoff directed significant business to Konigsberg Wolf & Co., a Manhattan accounting, tax and consulting firm that Konigsberg ran with his brother until it was sold four years ago.