Madoff stays jailed as appeal denied
By Martha Graybow
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bernard Madoff lost his bid on Friday to be released from jail until his June sentencing for Wall Street's largest-ever investment fraud.
The confessed swindler had challenged a judge's decision to immediately jail him after his dramatic guilty plea last week, but a federal appeals court denied his request for release after finding he was a potential flight risk and could have a secret pile of money to help him escape.
The ruling means Madoff might never again see the luxury Manhattan penthouse where he had been placed under home confinement for three months following his December 11 arrest.
He is now being held in a small concrete cell in a downtown Manhattan jail after confessing to a fraud that prosecutors say bilked investors of as much as $65 billion over 20 years. When the one-time Nasdaq chairman is sentenced, scheduled for June 16, he could be ordered to prison for the rest of his life.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court said Madoff, 70, could try to flee if allowed out on bail, given his age and potential for a long prison sentence. He faces up to 150 years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud, money laundering and other charges.
Madoff could have stashed money abroad to finance a potential escape, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit panel wrote in its ruling upholding District Judge Denny Chin's decision last week to jail Madoff immediately.
"The defendant has a residence abroad, and has had ample opportunity over a long period of time to secret substantial resources outside the country," the judges said.
Madoff owns a home in France. While his attorneys argued his assets have been frozen and he has made no effort to flee, the appeals court said Judge Chin "was not required to treat this defendant's financial representations as reliable...more"
Bernie is not reputed to be a religious Jew. So I am not worried about whether he will have a minyan in jail for shabbat services. However over the next few weeks I think we will be seeing some of his business associates coming to join him in the clinker. Indeed he may soon have his own Madoff and Associates prison minyan.