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US financier Madoff to remain free on bail

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A federal court in New York, New York ruled Monday that American financier Bernard Madoff can remain free on a US$10 million bond. Madoff faces charges of securities fraud in case that may reveal losses as large as US$50 billion. He was originally arrested on December 11, 2008.

Federal prosecutors had argued that Madoff had violated terms of his bail by mailing valuables to relatives from his Manhattan apartment, where he is under house arrest.

Judge Ronald L. Ellis ruled that, "The government fails to provide sufficient evidence that any potential future dissemination of Madoff's assets would rise to the level of an economic harm."

The judge, however, did say that "it is appropriate that his ability to transfer property be restricted as completely as possible." Madoff will be required to submit a complete inventory of items in his apartment.

A Wall Street adviser, Madoff was arrested and charged by the FBI last December with a single count of securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud. He allegedly told senior employees of his firm on December 10, that his business "is all just one big lie" and that it was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme [since at least 2005]."

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