According to attorney Marc Mukasey, Frank DiPascali, who was a heavy smoker, died on May 7 after losing his battle with lung cancer. DiPascali became one of Madoff’s trusted lieutenants during their time together, which stretched from 1975 until the latter’s arrest in 2008, writes Aaron Katersky for ABC.
“He was grateful to have been able to make some amends by helping the government these past few years,” read a statement from Mukasey, referring to his client’s cooperation with prosecutors.
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DiPascali pleaded guilty to 10 counts before agreeing to cooperate with prosecution lawyers in New York. “I knew it was criminal, and I did it anyway,” Mr. DiPascali said during his own trial. His testimony was vital in securing victories in cases against five other defendants, during which DiPascali spoke about the “scheme to defraud” clients.
Had he not passed away, 58-year-old DiPascali would have been sentenced in September, and he could have faced up to 125 years in prison. However, given the lengths he went to in order to cooperate with the authorities, his sentence would probably have been drastically reduced. The government claimed that DiPascali offered “substantial assistance” during the investigation into Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Madoff serving time following downfall of massive Ponzi scheme
The judge due to sentence DiPascali was sent a letter by federal prosecutors, informing him of the death: “The Government respectfully submits this letter to notify the Court that the defendant, Frank DiPascali, passed away this weekend. We have been in contact with defense counsel about this unfortunate turn of events.”
Madoff is currently serving a sentence of 150 years in prison at a medium-security facility in North Carolina. The 77-year-old was sentenced in 2009. So far over $10 billion has been returned to defrauded customers thanks to an ongoing investigation by a trustee responsible for unwinding Madoff’s business.
Later this month a court will decide whether the trustee can pay back another $1.2 billion to previous clients