In testimony at NY trial, an ex-Madoff employee describes fictitious trades he created

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Jurors at the first trial to result from Bernard Madoff’s enormous fraud have heard a former Madoff employee explain how he created fictitious trades and how his financier boss lied to investors.

David Kugel (KOO’-guhl), who previously pleaded guilty to charges in the case, told federal jurors Thursday in Manhattan how he assembled fictitious trades for decades that could be put on statements sent to thousands of investors. Those investors learned in December 2008 that Madoff had been carrying out a gigantic Ponzi scheme for decades. Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence. He said he acted alone.

The 68-year-old Kugel testified Thursday in the trial of five former Madoff employees who prosecutors say helped him carry out the $20 billion scheme. The trial began in October, and could take months.