By Anthony M. DeStefano, Newsday.com
Bernard Madoff, the accused Wall Street swindler, could learn as early as today if he will have his $10-million bail revoked and spend his days in a federal jail cell.
Government prosecutors filed additional legal papers with federal Magistrate-Judge Ronald Ellis yesterday to show that Madoff, 70, tried to dissipate money and assets - including $173 million in checks he'd signed - that could reimburse victims of his alleged $50-billion Ponzi scheme.
Prosecutors contend that by trying to give jewelry and other items to family and friends Madoff showed a disregard for a court order and a willingness to further hurt victims.
"The harm to the community by the further dissipation
of assets is obvious," said assistant
Madoff had intended to give $200 million to $300 million in investor assets that remained to select family, friends and employees, said Litt, something that was disclosed at the time of Madoff's arrest.
Litt told Ellis that under the bail laws possible economic harm is one factor that can be considered by the court in weighing the dangerousness of a defendant in deciding whether bail should be granted.
Defense attorneys Ira Sorkin and Dan Horwitz had no comment
yesterday. But in previous court filings they said Madoff, who is under house
arrest at his $7-million
If Ellis revokes Madoff's bail, he is likely to spend his
days before any trial at the federal
Madoff is next scheduled to be in court Jan. 12, but that timetable could change. He was arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging securities fraud and hasn't been indicted.
Litt also has said Madoff is a risk to flee because he faces a very long sentence - effectively life, under some guidelines calculations - if convicted.