The U.S. Government moved today to tighten the bail conditions of alleged financial fraudster Bernard Madoff, eliminating a provision that allowed the man behind an alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme to freely walk the streets during the day and remain confined to his home only at night.
The new security measures include a requirement that Madoff's family hire a security firm to monitor the posh penthouse address at 133 East 64th Street where Madoff is confined on a $10 million bond.
The new measures come after the original bail conditions agreed to by prosecutors came under harsh public criticism. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan said the office had no comment when queried on whether the altered conditions were in part or whole requested because of that criticism. The spokesperson said that the U.S. Attorney had no comment beyond what is contained in the two page request to modify bail conditions.
The new conditions require "round-the-clock monitoring at the defendant's building, 24 hours a day, including video monitoring of the defendant's apartment door(s) and communications devices and services permitting it to send a direct signal from an observation post to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the event of the appearance of harm or flight." Both Madoff and his wife, Ruth, have surrendered their passports as a part of the bail condition, and Ruth Madoff has signed confessions of judgment on the multi-million dollar properties in her name in Palm Beach, Florida and Montauk, Long Island, two of the nation's most desirous luxury retreats.
The new bail conditions were agreed to by the defendant in the short letter submitted to the court.
Madoff's last appearance in court triggered a media frenzy, one that included shoving and pushing to get close to the defendant, who was described in numerous accounts as smirking and by all appearances did seem calm and composed in his plush quilted coat and black cap.
Madoff was unable to meet the bond conditions set last week by a federal magistrate which required him to get four people to sign his personal recognizance bond.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, only Madoff's wife and brothers were willing to sign the document. But instead of ordering him held in jail, prosecutors agreed to home detention with electronic monitoring at his $7 million Park Avenue apartment.
Madoff's wife agreed to post the mansions in her name in Palm Beach, Florida and in Montauk on New York's Long Island.
Madoff made headlines last week when an unsealed criminal complaint in federal court in New York charged that he has been running a decades long Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $50 billion dollars.
A former chairman of NASDAQ, Madoff was an investment advisor who catered to a handful of high net worth clients, one of whom told ABC News that Madoff was so sought after that, as recently as two months ago, he was turning down potential new business. His handful of clients routinely expected -- and received -- double digit returns, up market or down.