A jury in New York has convicted five former employees of financier Bernie Madoff of conspiracy to defraud. The decision was unanamous.
After a trial in federal court that lasted nearly six months, Daniel Bonventre, Annette Bongiorno, Joann Crupi, Jerome O'Hara and George Perez were found guilty of defrauding clients, securities fraud and falsifying books and records.
''These five defendants played crucial roles in constructing and maintaining the house of cards that was the Madoff investment fraud," said US Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.
''Each played an important role in carrying out the charade, propping it up, and concealing it from regulators, auditors, taxing authorities, lenders, and investors".
Madoff was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 150 years in prison for running a $US65 billion fraud scheme. The BBC says some experts estimate that investors lost about $US20 billion.
They are the latest aides of Madoff to be convicted for their role in the scheme.
Madoff's brother, Peter Madoff, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2012 for his role in the fraud.