A top aid to Bernard Madoff has made an initial court appearance in New York on charges he helped the convicted swindler cook his books.

Daniel Bonventre faces conspiracy, securities fraud and tax charges.

The judge set his bail at $5 million bond to be secured by $2 million in assets. Bonventre was expected to post bail and be released later Thursday.

Bonventre is the former operations director for Bernard Madoff Investment Securities.

He also was sued Thursday by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC accused him of falsifying accounting records both to disguise Madoff's multibillion dollar fraud and illegally enrich himself.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence. He admitted cheating investors out of billions of dollars through an investment Ponzi scheme.