Madoff stays in jail, appeal rejected

The US Court of Appeals in New York has decided not to grant financier Bernard Madoff bail, saying he might try to flee before the trial's verdict on June 16. Madoff has confessed to eleven counts of fraud and faces up to 150 years in prison.


AFP - A US appeals court on Friday denied bail to Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff, saying he could try to flee before being sentenced for massive fraud.

A three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals in New York ruled it "affirmed" the decision made by a lower court last week to detain Madoff prior to his June 16 sentencing.

The ruling, issued 24 hours after a hearing on Thursday, said Madoff "failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee."

Madoff was taken into custody last week after confessing to 11 counts of fraud, money laundering, perjury and theft. He faces a sentence of up to 150 years in prison.

His attorneys argued that Madoff was highly unlikely to flee or to commit further harm to the community, the chief criteria for whether or not a defendant can be allowed bail.

Prosecutors said that he should not be granted bail because he might try to escape abroad before sentencing, particularly as he is almost sure to be condemned to life behind bars.

The appeals court accepted this, saying "the defendant's age and his exposure to imprisonment are undisputed, and the court did not err in inferring an incentive to flee from these facts."

Madoff was arrested December 11 after confessing to running a giant Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars.

Before his guilty plea last week, Madoff had lived with his wife Ruth in their seven-million-dollar Manhattan apartment under tight bail conditions. He surrendered his passport and was confined to his home, with 24-hour surveillance.

He is now held in correctional center in downtown Manhattan.

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