NEW YORK| Tue., June 5, 2012 5:13pm EDT (Reuters) — Craig Kugel, a human resources employee at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC from 2001 until the massive Madoff fraud was revealed in December 2008, pleaded guilty to five criminal charges in U.S. District Court in New York on Tuesday.

Kugel, 38, told the judge that he sent forms to the Department of Labor about people who were not employed by the firm — even though they were on payroll and being provided benefits. He also admitted to filing false U.S. individual income tax returns.

During his plea proceeding, Kugel admitted that he sent the employment forms "knowing the numbers were inaccurate and swearing to their truth." Kugel said he was sorry for his lapse in judgment "but I want to make clear I was never involved in the Madoff Ponzi scheme and never worked in its trading department."

Kugel also charged more than $200,000 in personal expenses, including luxury clothes, jewelry, and vacations for himself and his family, to a corporate credit card, but did not report it as income on his tax returns, prosecutors said.

The charges carry a maximum possible prison term of 19 years.

© 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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