Judge Refuses to Lower Bail for Madoff Former Secretary

Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010  |  Updated 5:45 PM EDT
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Judge Refuses to Lower Bail for Madoff Former Secretary

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Annette Bongiorno, Bernie Madoff

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A New York judge has refused to lower the $5 million bail he set for a former Bernard Madoff employee accused of helping him hide his epic Ponzi scheme.

Federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain noted that Annette Bongiorno concedes she has $2.4 million. Prosecutors say Madoff's 62-year-old longtime secretary likely has stashed away millions more. They say she withdrew more than $14 million for herself during the multi-decade scheme.

Bongiorno is currently under house arrest in Florida. She has denied participating in the fraud.

The judge ordered her to surrender Thursday afternoon in Florida so she can be brought to New York for trial.

Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence after pleading guilty to fraud charges last year.

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