Things are heating up for associates of Bernie Madoff, pictured in his mug shot.
David Friehling, the accountant of Bernard Madoff, was arrested Wednesday on charges of securities fraud. Friehling is the first alleged accomplice to be named by authorities in connection with Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scam, though the accountant was charged with auditing failures, not direct participation in the scheme itself.
Friehling was sole proprietor of the Friehling & Horowitz accounting firm. The firm occupied a 550-square foot space in New City, a northern suburb of New York City in Rockland County, and served as auditor to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities since 1991, prosecutors said.
Friehling, 49, is not accused of knowing about the scheme. Rather, he allegedly deceived investors by falsely certifying that he had audited the financial statements of Madoff’s firm.
“Friehling failed to conduct audits that complied with GAAS and GAAP,” Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin said in a statement, referring to generally accepted accounting principles and standards. “He did little or no testing, no verification of the ‘facts’ he certified. His job was not merely to rubber-stamp statements he didn’t verify.”