Madoff to Stay At Swank Penthouse For Now

I realize our jails are overcrowded, but this is ridiculous. 

Manhattan Judge Ronald Ellis just denied U.S. prosecutors’ request to revoke Bernie Madoff’s $10 million bail after the government learned Madoff and/or his wife mailed a million dollars in jewels and other valuables to family members, and that Madoff had $173 million in checks that he’d personally signed ready to send off to friends and family.

Considering that Madoff is being accused of defrauding investors out of $50 billion, I’m not sure why house arrest was ever an option. Still, the judge told prosecutors this afternoon that they’d failed to show that “no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community; or by a preponderance of the evidence, that there is no condition or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure the ‘presence of the defendant at trial if released.’”

Madoff will be further restricted going forward; he and he wife are now more explicitly forbidden from transferring any property “whatsoever, wherever located.” Madoff also has to inventory all the “valuable portable items” in the Manhattan penthouse where he is being kept under house arrest, so if anything goes missing, the government, which will monitor the baubles through a biweekly security check, will know.