|Bernard Madoff is under house arrest and must wear an ankle monitoring bracelet. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)|
Prosecutor again seeks to end bail for Madoff
NEW YORK - Prosecutors again asked a federal judge to jail besieged financier Bernard Madoff, saying he tried to pick "winners and losers" in his $50 billion fraud when he and his wife shipped more than $1 million in jewelry to relatives and friends over the holidays.
Assistant US Attorney Marc Litt said in a letter yesterday to US District Judge Lawrence M. McKenna there were no conditions of bail that will ensure the 70-year-old is not a danger to do financial harm to the community and a risk to flee.
"No matter the loss . . . determined by the sentencing court, it appears that defendant will not be able to come remotely close to having the resources necessary to make his victims whole," Litt wrote. "Accordingly, every possible penny of the defendant's assets must be protected from dissipation."
Madoff is scheduled to be at a hearing before the judge this afternoon, two days after a magistrate judge ruled he could remain in his $7 million penthouse despite government claims he was trying to disperse valuable jewelry and watches to close relatives and friends.
"By doing so, the defendant showed that he would not be deterred in his efforts to pick the winners and losers of his fraudulent scheme," Litt said.
Within hours of a ruling Monday by US Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis, prosecutors notified the court they would appeal the decision to a federal judge. The hearing today will focus on the appeal.
The hearing comes as investigators continue to dig through Madoff's financial records. Prosecutors noted in court papers Monday that the defense and representatives of the government had been discussing a possible disposition of the case.
"The only thing I will say now is we are cooperating with the government," defense lawyer Ira Sorkin said yesterday.