A federal grand jury has indicted two computer programmers on fraud and conspiracy charges for developing programs used by the now imprisoned fraudster to cook the books in his billions-dollar Ponzi scheme. The two suspects knowingly created the programs that removed or altered key data contained in reports submitted to regulators, according to the indictment filed this week in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Among other things, their code contained algorithms to randomly generate times for purported orders that in fact were never made. The reports were generated on “House 17,” an IBM AS/400 server kept on the 17th floor of the Madoff offices that had no link to the outside world, prosecutors allege. To ensure the reports appeared genuine, the server pulled partial information from a separate AS/400 that was linked to the Depository Trust Company and other third parties. The indictment claims that the programmers knew their programs were being used to falsify information being provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the European Accounting Firm, and sought to profit from their expertise.
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