Saturday, January 10, 2009
Feds: Madoff Had Millions in Checks Ready to Go Out
Search of Alleged Scammer's Desk Yielded 100 Signed Checks Worth $173 Million
By MADDY SAUER, JERIKA RICHARDSON, and RICHARD ESPOSITO
Jan. 8, 2009
Prosecutors arguing that alleged $50 billion scammer Bernard Madoff should be put in jail immediately say that when Madoff's desk was searched following his arrest, investigators found approximately 100 signed checks totaling more than $173 million "ready to be sent out".
Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff leaves U.S. District Court in Manhattan after a bail hearing in New York, today. Prosecutors on Monday said Madoff violated bail conditions by mailing about $1 million worth of jewelry and other assets to relatives and should be jailed without bail.
"The only thing that prevented the defendant from executing his plan to dissipate those assets was his arrest by the FBI," prosecutors say. "The defendant's recent distribution of jewelry and watches demonstrates a continuing intention to benefit those close to him to the detriment of his victims."
Prosecutors asked Judge Roland Ellis earlier this week to put Madoff in custody after they say Madoff violated the conditions of his bail agreement when he and his wife sent multiple packages worth more than $1 million containing such valuables as watches, jewelry and cufflinks to relatives and friends.
An earlier court order barred Madoff from "dissipating, concealing, or disposing of any money" or "personal property".
A defense motion saying that Madoff saw the expensive gifts as "sentimental personal items" shows that he "misses the point entirely" according to prosecutors.
Madoff's lawyers concede that on Christmas Eve, Madoff and his wife sent a number of packages to friends and family.
"Mr. Madoff gathered a number of watches that he collected over the course of years, knowing that, due to the sudden change in his circumstances, he would never have an occasion to wear these watches again," according to a brief filed by Madoff's attorneys, who say packages were sent to the Madoffs' sons, a daughter in-law, Madoff's brother and sister in-law, Mrs. Madoff's sister and a married couple who are close friends.
And uh, we ask, where were the checks going to and what "sentimental value" did they have to Madoff and / or his cronies?