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2 programmers charged in faking of Madoff's books

Two computer programmers who worked with Bernard Madoff's company are charged with falsifying records in the massive Ponzi scheme, officials said.

Arrested at their homes by the FBI on Friday were Jerome O'Hara, 46, of Malverne and George Perez, 43 of East Brunswick, N.J. Each is  charged with, among other things,  conspiracy and  falsifying books and records, said officials with the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

The complaints unsealed in federal court in Manhattan say O'Hara and Perez knew that a special series of programs they had developed for Madoff contained false information that was used in connection with reviews of the firm by British and U.S. officials.

In August 2006, both men met with Madoff and told him that they would no longer lie for him, and that Madoff then told his deputy, Frank DiPascali, to pay them whatever they wanted to keep them happy, the complaints stated.

Perez and O'Hara then received pay increases of about 25 percent and bonuses of about $60,000, the complaints stated.

The latest arrests bring the total number of people charged so far in the $21.2 billion fraud to five. Madoff, DiPascali and former Madoff accountant David Friehling have pleaded guilty.

The latest arrests appear to come as a result of the cooperation of DiPascali, who pleaded guilty in August.

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