Judge allows Madoff to remain free on bail - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Judge allows Madoff to remain free on bail

Posted by Rachel Leigh email

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge has allowed Bernard Madoff to remain free on bail, rejecting a bid by prosecutors to send the disgraced money manager to jail.

UPDATE, MON 12 PM: Madoff mailed more than $1 million in jewelry and heirlooms to family and friends over the holidays. Prosecutors said the gifts were grounds to have his bail revoked because what's left of Madoff 's assets will have to be returned to burned investors.

Madoff 's lawyers said the gifts were an innocent mistake and said he is neither a danger to the community nor a threat to flee.

The fact that Madoff has been able to spend his days in his luxury apartment - and not jail - has stirred up outrage among investors who lost billions in his alleged fraud that he reportedly describes as a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Previously: A judge is expected to announce Monday morning whether accused money manager Bernard Madoff will have to go back to jail.

Right now, Madoff is on house arrest at his $7 million penthouse in Manhattan. Prosecutors want his bail revoked claiming he violated a court order freezing his assets by mailing an estimated $1 million in jewels to relatives and friends.

Madoff's lawyer argues the jewels were "not a condition of Madoff's bail", and described them as "purely sentimental".

But a judge may not buy it. "It's really not his decision to decide what is sentimental value and what is not. If they were valued at a million dollars, I am sure there are many investors out there who would be very happy to have that money set aside for them," said Former Federal Prosecutor Ellen Zimiles.

Meanwhile, we're also learning, Madoff's sister and brother in law plan to sell this three-bedroom home in West Palm Beach. Sondra and Marvin Wiener are among Madoff's victims. The property, featuring a pool, is listed for $949,000.

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