Madoff Remains Free, Judge Rules

Government will appeal, meanwhile alleged fraudster remains in penthouse.

ByRichard Esposito and Jerika Richardson
January 08, 2009, 11:29 AM

Jan. 12, 2009— -- Bernard Madoff, the man who allegedly committed the largest financial crime in history, will not go to jail while he awaits trial. Instead he will remain under house arrest, in the comfort of his posh penthouse apartment in Manhattan, despite prosecutors' somewhat belated efforts to put him behind bars.

In a written decision handed down at noon Monday, Federal Magistrate Ronald Ellis rebuffed the argument prosecutors made last week that charged circumstances warranted that the alleged $50 billion fraudster's bail be revoked. Late Monday, the US attorney sent a letter to Ellis saying the government intends to appeal the decision.

Ellis said that the government's arguments that Madoff was a danger to the community - an economic danger in that he might further dissipate assets that could be used to pay back the allegedly defrauded investors and an increased flight risk now that the case against him is more substantial - did not warrant any changes.

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