A lawyer for the longtime secretary of Bernard Madoff says his client expects to testify on her own behalf at a trial of five former employees of the Ponzi king.

Attorney Roland Riopelle in a letter Saturday told the judge presiding over the trial that Annette Bongiorno expects to testify. He notified the judge because Bongiorno's defense presentation is expected to begin Monday. It will follow several days of testimony by another defendant, Madoff's former head of operations.

The defendants are accused of assisting Madoff in a fraud that cheated thousands of investors out of nearly $20 billion. The defendants say they were all duped by Madoff, just the same as federal regulators and sophisticated investors who had no idea he was operating a historic fraud for decades.