NY trial set next year for 5 ex-Madoff employees

NEW YORK -- A trial will be held next year for five of Bernard Madoff's (MAY'-dawfs) former employees who are accused of conspiring in history's biggest Ponzi scheme.

The Oct. 7, 2013, trial date was set Tuesday by a federal judge in Manhattan.

The judge listened as the defendants pleaded not guilty to a new indictment expanding the charges against them.

Prosecutors say some defendants were helping Madoff carry out his fraud as far back as the early 1970s. Madoff claimed when he pleaded guilty to fraud charges three years ago that he acted alone.

Prosecutors say it will take about two months to present all the evidence against those accused of helping him cheat thousands of people out of nearly $20 billion.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence in North Carolina.