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Madoff's ex-secretary testifies at New York trial

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 24, 2014 at 4:01 p.m.

NEW YORK — Bernard Madoff's longtime secretary says she was in the dark about her boss' epic Ponzi scheme.

Annette Bongiorno made the claim after deciding to testify Monday in her own defense. She and four other employees of the disgraced financier are now on trial in Manhattan federal court.

Her appearance on the witness stand follows several days of testimony by another defendant, Madoff's former head of operations.

The defendants are accused of assisting Madoff in a fraud that cheated thousands of investors out of nearly $20 billion.

The defendants say they were duped along with investors as Madoff operated the historic fraud for decades.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

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