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Bernie Madoff's Secretary Takes The Stand As Feds Try To Extend Prosecution

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- Convicted swindler Bernie Madoff's secretary took the stand nearly five years after her former boss went to prison.

As CBS 2's John Slattery reported the feds are still trying to extend the long arm of prosecution.

Madoff's secretary Annette Bongiorno was a supervisor at Madoff securities. She and four others were charged in connection with the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

Like the other defendants Bongiorno said that she had no knowledge that Madoff was involved in defrauding thousands of clients out of billions of dollars.

It was almost five years ago that Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to swindling investors out of nearly $20-billion. Madoff, 75, is in prison serving a 150-year sentence.

Bongiorno and another back office worker created false trading reports, according to an indictment. Prosecutors alleged that Bongiorno, who worked for Madoff for 40 years, used a computer program designed to backdate trades and manipulate account statements.

When she took the stand on her own behalf she denied perpetrating fraud and said that she was unaware that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.

"She's asserted her innocence from the beginning and continues to do so," attorney Roland Riopelle said.

In Bongiorno's case it will be a question of what she knew and when she knew it.

Madoff suffered a heart attack in December and reportedly suffers from end-stage renal disease.

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