Madoff to plead guilty to 11 counts

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Bernard Madoff's lawyer told a judge today that his client plans to plead guilty to 11 counts this coming Thursday. The list of charges includes money laundering, perjury and securities, mail and wire fraud. Madoff could potentially receive a sentence of 150 years in jail.

The announcement came at a hearing earlier today. Madoff appeared in court for the first time in several weeks to address questions about conflicts of interest with his lawyer. According to the AP, Madoff arrived at the Manhattan court wearing a bulletproof vest, just in case an armed and irate investor was looking for revenge. He also arrived several hours early, to avoid crowds of gawkers, angry investors and media hounds.

The strange thing is that Madoff's lawyer lost money investing with him. Today's hearing was to determine if that loss meant that Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, should step down due to a conflict of interest -- that is, Sorkin is on both sides of the scandal as victim and defender. But the judge ruled that Sorkin could continue.

In the course of the hearing, the judge asked Sorkin if he expected Madoff to plead guilty at a hearing coming up on Thursday. Sorkin replied, "I think that's a fair expectation."
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