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Madoff accountant expected to plead guilty to securities fraud

Bernard Madoff's former accountant is slated to plead guilty on Election Day to a variety of fraud and other charges in connection with largest Ponzi scheme ever to hit Wall Street, officials said Friday.

In a letter filed in federal court in Manhattan, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Baroni and Marc Litt said that it is expected that David G. Friehling, 49, of upstate New City, will plead guilty Nov. 3 to charges of securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and obstructing tax collection laws.

The prosecutors also said that Friehling will be making his plea in connection with a cooperation agreement. He would face maximum sentences of 20 years on the most serious securities fraud charges.

Friehling, who operated from a storefront office in Rockland County, was arrested shortly after Madoff pleaded guilty to the scheme in which investors are believed to have lost more than $21 billion. Madoff had told investors their accounts were worth a bogus $64.5 billion when his firm went under.

Friehling, who is free on bail, wasn't initially accused of knowing about Madoff's fraud, but rather that he failed to assure the accuracy of audits and representations he made to government investigators and the SEC.

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