Madoff payroll manager pleads guilty

Madoff payroll manager pleads guilty

A former senior employee of Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff has admitted doctoring documents to deceive auditors, faking payroll records and lying to a bank to get a loan.

Eric Lipkin - Madoff's payroll manager - has pleaded guilty to six counts, including conspiracy, falsifying records and bank fraud, in a New York court and promised to cooperate with the authorities. He now faces up to 70 years in prison.

Lipkin has also settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which says he processed payroll records for "no-show" employees and falsified records of investors' account holdings.

He prepared fake Depository Trust Clearing Corporation reports showing the sham investments for clients and "played a role in executing the entirely fictitious investment strategy that Madoff and BMIS claimed to be pursuing on behalf of its clients," according to the watchdog.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Lipkin has consented to a proposed partial judgement that will require him to forfeit profits and pay a fine to be set by the court.

Madoff is currently serving a 150 year sentence for his muilti-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Lipkin is the third employee to admit guilt in relation to the fraud, following key lieutenant Frank DiPascali and accountant David Friehling. Another five - including two computer programmers - are facing charges.

Meanwhile, with Madoff languishing in jail, his worldly possessions have been auctioned off to raise money for his thousands of victims.

At the most recent sale, a mystery bidder secured 14 pairs of the crook's boxer shorts for $200 dollars while another paid $31,000 for a 1952 Rolex watch. In total, more than $400,000 was raised.

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