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Defense lawyers skewer Madoff in fraud trial

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Bernard Madoff (DOJ photo) Bernard Madoff (DOJ photo)
By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Lawyers for five people charged with fraud in New York have many things to say about their former employer, Bernard Madoff - mostly bad.

The lawyers spoke Thursday to jurors hearing the first criminal trial to result from the 5-year-old revelation of Madoff's historic fraud.

They said Madoff was too secretive and manipulative to let employees in on his crimes. The lawyers said their clients knew nothing of a fraud that cost thousands of investors billions of dollars.

They called Madoff a Wall Street icon, a control freak, a great liar, a genius manipulator, and private and secretive.

Defendants include Madoff's longtime secretary, his director of operations, an account manager and two computer programmers. A prosecutor says they were crucial to the fraud.

After a break Friday, testimony will begin Monday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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