Bernard Madoff will spend another weekend in his $7 million New York penthouse. Federal Magistrate Ronald Ellis has informed the court that he will not make a decision on whether or not to revoke the bail of the alleged master of a $50 billion investor fraud scheme until Monday at noon.
Ellis listened to oral arguments for and against Madoff's bail revocation earlier this week. The prosecution submitted written arguments on Tuesday, and the defense filed its counter arguments Wednesday. From the start, Ellis told both parties that he would not rule until late today or Monday.
Nonetheless, a tense week followed filled with further disclosures of Madoff's alleged victims, leaks that indicated one feeder fund manager was in hiding from mobsters who may have invested through them, and some media accounts suggesting the decision would come earlier than Friday night or Monday morning.
A court hearing is slated for Monday morning at which time the government is either slated to indict Madoff or ask for more time to develop its case against Madoff. At that time, the bail motion may be discussed.
This week prosecutors arguing that alleged $50 billion scammer Bernard Madoff should be put in jail immediately said that when Madoff's desk was searched following his arrest, investigators found approximately 100 signed checks totaling more than $173 million "ready to be sent out".
"The only thing that prevented the defendant from executing his plan to dissipate those assets was his arrest by the FBI," prosecutors say. "The defendant's recent distribution of jewelry and watches demonstrates a continuing intention to benefit those close to him to the detriment of his victims."
Prosecutors asked Judge Roland Ellis earlier this week to put Madoff in custody after they say Madoff violated the conditions of his bail agreement when he and his wife sent multiple packages worth more than $1 million containing such valuables as watches, jewelry and cufflinks to relatives and friends.
An earlier court order barred Madoff from "dissipating, concealing, or disposing of any money" or "personal property".
A defense motion saying that Madoff saw the expensive gifts as "sentimental personal items" shows that he "misses the point entirely" according to prosecutors.
Madoff's lawyers concede that on Christmas Eve, Madoff and his wife sent a number of packages to friends and family.
"Mr. Madoff gathered a number of watches that he collected over the course of years, knowing that, due to the sudden change in his circumstances, he would never have an occasion to wear these watches again," according to a brief filed by Madoff's attorneys, who say packages were sent to the Madoffs' sons, a daughter in-law, Madoff's brother and sister in-law, Mrs. Madoff's sister and a married couple who are close friends.
Madoff, say his attorneys, "simply did not realize" that the SEC order he consented to "pertained to these personal items". The jewelry has all since been recovered, according to Madoff's lawyers.
At Monday's hearing Judge Ellis questioned the validity of the government's request to put Madoff in custody considering that Madoff's current bail terms -- home confinement in his posh Manhattan penthouse -- had earlier been agreed upon by the government.