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Court hears Madoff bail arguments

Bernard Madoff attorney Ira Sorkin asked a New York court yesterday to release his client while he awaits sentencing. Bernard Madoff attorney Ira Sorkin asked a New York court yesterday to release his client while he awaits sentencing. (Chip East/Reuters)
Associated Press / March 20, 2009
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NEW YORK - A federal Appeals Court considering whether Bernard Madoff should remain jailed pending sentencing grilled lawyers for both sides yesterday, noting to prosecutors that Madoff could have fled the country before his massive Ponzi scheme was uncovered.

The judges were equally skeptical about arguments put forward by Madoff defense lawyer Ira Sorkin. One judge suggested Madoff was sneaky, noting that nearly all of his property was in his wife's name and that he had mailed jewelry to relatives and friends over the holidays even though he was under a court order not to move any assets.

The three-judge panel of the 2d US Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments for a half hour from Sorkin and Assistant US Attorney Marc Litt but did not immediately rule.

Madoff was jailed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center last week after confessing to US District Judge Denny Chin that he had defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars for at least two decades.

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