Madoff must stay in slammer - court

Court denies appeal by Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff to get out of jail pending his sentencing.

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By Aaron Smith, staff writer

Mug shot: Bernard Madoff has been incarcerated since pleading guilty on March 12.
Madoff accountant David Friehling was released on $2.5 million bail.

NEW YORK ( -- Bernard Madoff, who masterminded the biggest Ponzi scam in history, lost his latest effort on Friday to get out of jail.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit shot upheld a trial judge's decision to revoke his $10 million bail ahead of his June 16 sentencing. Madoff, 70, faces a potential 150-year sentence in federal prison.

"The district court found that in light of the defendant's age (70) and the length of a potential sentence (150 years), he has an incentive to flee, and that because he has the means to do so, he presents a risk of flight, and therefore should not be released," the 2nd Circuit said in a written document.

Madoff lawyer Ira Lee Sorkin said said he was "disappointed" in the ruling. "We are disappointed and we respectfully disagree but the court has ruled," he said.

Sorkin had argued that Madoff was not a flight risk or a danger to the community.

"Since his arrest, Mr. Madoff has complied at all times with the extraordinarily restrictive bail conditions imposed upon him; he has not attempted to flee nor has he attempted to harm any individual or the community," Sorkin argued.

Madoff has been locked up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan since March 12, when he pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts, including fraud, money laundering and perjury.

Thousands of investors were victimized by Madoff's massive, long-running scheme, with losses in the billions of dollars. Investigators are still tallying up the number of victims and the amount of the money that was stolen.

Investigators are also seizing and itemizing Madoff's assets - including those belonging to his wife Ruth - for liquidation. The assets, worth more than $800 million, will be used to pay back burned investors.

No one in Madoff's family has been charged. But on Wednesday, his accountant, David Friehling, turned himself in to federal authorities to face charges that he "rubberstamped" Madoff's books. He was not accused of participating in the Ponzi scheme, or even having knowledge of it. But authorities said Madoff paid him up to $14,500 a month to approve audits of his firm without really examining the numbers, and then lying about it.

Friehling was charged with securities fraud, aiding and abetting investment adviser fraud and filing false audit reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He was released Wednesday on $2.5 million bail and could face a 105-year sentence if convicted. To top of page

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