Judge to Madoff: Stay in jail!

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York ruled today that Bernard Madoff must stay in jail while he awaits sentencing for his role in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of investors. Dennis Jacobs, Richard Wesley, and Robert Sack, the three appellate judges who heard the case, upheld Judge Denny Chin's decision to revoke Madoff's bail.

Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, sought to have him released until the June 16 sentencing, noting that similar high-profile, white collar defendants in the Enron, Adelphia, and WorldCom scandals were allowed to remain at liberty until their sentencing.

Judge Chin sent Madoff to New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center last week, noting that his potential sentence of up to 150 years behind bars, combined with his age, made him a considerable flight risk. U.S. Attorney Marc Litt added yesterday that Madoff has the resources, connections, and incentive to escape.

Madoff's case wasn't helped by his apparent attempts to conceal his assets from the government. While free on bail, he mailed jewelry and other possessions to family members and friends, in direct contravention of a court order. Moreover, he had previously placed much of his real estate and possessions in his wife's name, presumably to limit his victims' access to his assets.

While Madoff awaits his sentencing, government lawyers have announced that they will attempt to seize $100 million in assets from him and his wife Ruth. In the meantime, Madoff's accountant and auditor, 49-year old David Frehling, has been arrested for his role in the scheme, and is currently out on $2.5 million bail.

Madoff might want to stay right where he is. Last night, while attempting to shop at a Food Emporium near their Park Avenue apartment, Madoff's wife Ruth was mobbed by a pack of reporters and photographers. Dressed down in a ski cap, jeans, innocuous brown coat, and orange hoodie, she was quickly recognized. As the journalistic onslaught continued, she scurried home, her shopping abandoned for the evening.
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