DiPascali, center, in a court rendering.(NYTimes.com)

Frank DiPascali, whom The New York Times describes today as “one of [Bernie] Madoff’s closest aides for decades, pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts, including conspiracy and tax evasion, in Manhattan federal court yesterday. He’s been cooperating with prosecutors, explaining details of how Madoff’s long-running scam operated, but, despite prosecutors’ requests, was not allowed to remain free on bail after his plea. (Prosecutors argued that he’d be better able to help them piece together the crime as a free man, and presumably wanted to offer him a reward for his cooperation; the judge pointed out that the guy’s got plenty of money and every incentive to flee before he’s sentenced.) “It was all fake,” said DiPascali, who, it seems, blamed all his wrongdoing on an overabundance of (misplaced) loyalty. “It was all fictitious. It was wrong, and I knew it was wrong at the time.” He’s now the third person to be charged with crimes in the Madoff Ponzi scheme—the other was Madoff’s accountant, who was charged with rubber-stamping, rather than actually auditing, his books—and the second, after Madoff, to plead guilty and go to jail. Most notably, though, he is also—bless his heart—the first gentile to catch any blame for this thing.

Madoff Aide Reveals Details of Ponzi Scheme [NYT]