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By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - Like Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme itself, the trial of five of his former aides has been virtually unprecedented in its scope. A federal jury of 12 men and women on Monday began deciding whether the defendants are guilty of aiding in Madoff's massive fraud. And U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain's two sets of jury instructions to help jurors understand how to apply the law to the evidence ran an astonishing 250 pages. Despite the voluminous record, experts said, the case turns on a relatively simple question: did the defendants knowingly engage in fraud, as prosecutors contend, or were they fooled by one of history's greatest con men, as their lawyers argue?