Defense: Madoff kept employees in dark about fraud

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York defense lawyer says Bernard Madoff duped his employees just like he fooled everyone else.

Attorney Andrew James Frisch gave his opening statement Thursday to a Manhattan federal court jury hearing the first criminal trial to result from the fall of Madoff's financial empire.

Frisch says his client - Daniel Bonventre - is not guilty of fraud charges. Bonventre is on trial with four other former employees of Madoff's private investment business.

Frisch says Madoff and his right-hand man kept Bonventre and others in the dark about his secret fraud for 16 years. He says his client was director of operations at the legitimate side of Madoff's business. He says he did not know Madoff was cheating thousands of investors of billions of dollars.