Appeals Court Denies Bond for Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff will stay in jail pending sentencing. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals today refused to reverse the trial court's order denying bond. The ruling is here (pdf.)

It appears Madoff, facing a probable sentence that will exceed his life span, will leave prison only when he's dead.

Since the Government can continue the investigation into his relatives and friends, it's hard to figure why his lawyers didn't draw out the process, insisting on an Indictment. He would have had the protection of the 5th amendment until his appeals of any conviction were done and been able to sleep at his Park Ave. penthouse rather than MCC or an FCI for at least two more years. [More...]

He effectively gave himself an early death sentence. As I've said before, from a practical standpoint, he couldn't have gotten a more severe sentence -- we don't have sentences of life plus cancer...yet.

[W]ho agrees to start a life sentence at 70, when you can have another year or two at your luxurious Park Avenue abode in the company of your spouse and family, while awaiting trial?

It's not like the Government could give him any more time if he went to trial and lost. What was he afraid of? That he'd be sentenced to life plus cancer?

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    I'm of the opinion he did it for one or more (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:38:18 PM EST
    of a couple reasons:
    1.  Thinking it might enable his sons to escape.
    2.  He was jerking the prosecutors around by pretending to cooperate and got the message to stop, lest they really come down hard on his family.
    3.  He already has a terminal disease and hasn't told anyone about it nor made it an issue.
    4.  He's nuts.
    5.  He doesn't care;  he might well be tired of Mrs. Madoff.
    6.  He feels genuine remorse, relief at being caught and wants to get on with the prison term  he seems to have known was coming.
    7.  He's tired and would rather do whatever it is he will do in prison than spend his time dealing with lawyers.

    None of these seems exceptionally likely, save #4, #5 and #6, which are simply unknown because we cannot know his state of mind.

    And there was a press report the other day that Mrs. Madoff had established Florida domicile last fall, prior to any of this breaking.  The result of that, of course, is that she will claim a huge homestead in the inevitable bankruptcy.

    I forgot one reason (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:44:03 PM EST
    he might have wanted to stay in:

    8.  Dissatisfied Russian oligarch clients who lost money.


    Yes (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:08:45 PM EST
    That is what I had in mind.

    She better get to that homestead asap.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:43:08 PM EST
    she tried to go shopping yesterday in NYC, the paprazzi and hecklers chased her back to her penthouse.

    She's lucky about that (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:48:55 PM EST
    being just a chase, given the way the tabloids have been stirring the pot.

    No doubt... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:53:00 PM EST
    somebody is gonna get hurt unless the various con-artists drawing the ire off the masses start playing it straight...and fast.

    Honestly I don't know if they have it in them...they are so used to crooked as the norm.


    She's also stirring the pot (none / 0) (#7)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:57:52 PM EST
    homesteading a fortune in FL isn't going to win her any sympathy. Should everyone and the media just ignore that? The media could report this so straight up and she would still be lucky it was just a chase.

    If anything happens to her or hubby, it will prob be more from someone's despair than the media. You don't really need to the media to stir the pot when you've wiped out so many people's futures. You've already whipped that pot.


    We should be a lot more angry... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:10:57 PM EST
    at AIG and Citi than the Madoff clan, imo.

    Madoff mainly preyed on people's own greed and used it against them, and the majority of his victims were very wealthy people who searched him out, not the other way wround.

    AIG and Citi, with the help of the feds, otoh are preying on the regular folks.


    Madoff preyed on regular folks (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:29:48 PM EST
    (charities!) and saving/investing for retirement isn't greed. He was supposed to be solid and trustworthy. Many people "search out" professionals through friends etc. I'd be looking for referrals if I wanted to invest. It's fairly common I believe.

    I think I fall into the equally angry at all three category. Although, AIG and Citi are still free to cause outrage, and they are sure workin' that one.  


    Who runs those charities? (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:51:59 PM EST
    Wealthy people trying to look smart and get big returns risking money donated for a cause? I can't even call that a charity.

    There's saving for retirement, and there's gambling on a retirement on the French Riviera.

    I've read a few of the testiminials of the victims of Madoff...that's what I saw stray.  AIG and Citi steal money with their government co-conspirators from unwilling participants...a far worse crime, imo.


    I don't understand your first paragraph. (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:55:26 PM EST
    What was that fellow's name who donated lots of money to non-profits, including Metropolitan Opera, who lauded him by name at every opportunity, until he flaked out.  Villars.

    Alberto Vilar (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:59:26 PM EST
    The problem for the charity boards is subtle (none / 0) (#32)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:29:54 PM EST
    and different from that of the individuals.

    As a members of a charity board, they are subject to fiduciary duties to maximize the amount of income to the charity from its endowment and to protect that endowment.  To some degree those duties conflict.  If they were offered a high-rate-of-return investment (like Madoff's funds) and passed on it, they would be subject to a breach-of-fiduciary duty suit just as they are when they lose money.  So, they have to be exceptionally careful and also exceptionally aggressive in their investment strategies.

    Not an easy place to be.

    Individuals, OTOH, are not subject to that sort of problem when investing for themselves.  (If they're trustees of a private trust, see above.)


    Not Particularly High Return (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:47:11 PM EST
    Madoff's investment return was about 10% or the same as S&P over the last 10 or 15 years.

    Especially when compared to the children's investment fund which since 2003 has produced 42% annual rate of return.


    Fl. House actually (none / 0) (#22)
    by Amiss on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:47:59 PM EST
    has to be PRIMARY residence. She better move in soon, with the current mood, I dont think they will allow her to claim it if she is not actually living down here and she obviously isnt and hasnt been using it as her primary residence.

    Rumor says it's the Russian Mob (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by MSS on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:55:55 PM EST
    Rumor says that Madoff was laundering money for the Russian mob, and now owes them so much that his life is not safe unless he is in jail! He was apparently wearing a bullet proof vest to all the hearings.

    Fodder for John Le Carre's (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:54:46 PM EST
    next plot.

    Much of what's being revealed these days (none / 0) (#41)
    by DFLer on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:03:38 PM EST
    re the world financial system and the puppet masters reminds me of a Robert Lundlum (sp?) plot.

    Ludlum (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:08:17 PM EST
    but spot on analysis!

    Sounds crazy, but maybe he didn't (none / 0) (#4)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:49:07 PM EST
    want to spend the money on the legal fees for himself.  Maybe he anticipated that his family would never be shielded from prosecutorial inquiry and wanted to leave the rest of his family with financial resources to defend themselves and/or to live on.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:54:54 PM EST
    He thinks he is safer in jail than in his penthouse.

    Then why would he be trying to get bail (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:59:49 PM EST
    so he can move back to the penthouse?

    Good Point (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:05:41 PM EST
    That would have be a waste of $$ if he wanted to stay locked up until sentencing.

    Short answer- 10 South in MCC is (none / 0) (#14)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:17:38 PM EST
    in the words of the papers:  "A hellhole".

    Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff is being held in a super-max wing of the Manhattan federal lockup - a unit so tough it drives hardened criminals mad, the Daily News has learned.

    It's known as 10 South.

    * * *

    On 10 South, the 70-year-old Madoff is treated more like a lab rat than a vaunted Wall Street financier once entrusted with billions of investment dollars.

    The lights burn 24 hours a day, and an inmate's every move is caught on video. Madoff gets just 60 minutes a day outside his 8-by-8-foot cell - in wrist shackles.

    Windows are blacked out so disoriented inmates can't catch even a glimpse of the world outside.

    What passes for food is slipped through a narrow slit in a stainless steel door that fronts a spartan cell - cold in winter, scorching hot in summer.

    No interaction is permitted between inmates or guards. Only a ranking officer is allowed to remove a prisoner from his tiny cell.

    Lawyer visits are few and far between. Reading material is almost nonexistent.

    * * *
    The squalid conditions are enough to make blood-stained tough guys cry - never mind a pampered ex-billionaire.

    * * *

    Junior Gotti said his hard time in the MCC's most infamous section was brutal.

    "I was in 10 South, and it almost broke me," Gotti famously roared.

    Imagine its impact on a first-time offender used to a $7 million East Side penthouse with a bedroom drawer filled with cuff links and a $39,000 Steinway piano in the living room.

    Real humane.

    And, for those wondering, a $39,000 Steinway is to pianos what the Chevy Nova was to cars.  Basic transportation.


    for price references (none / 0) (#15)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:25:31 PM EST
    see here.  Those are all used pianos.

    Are you sure that that's not just the media (none / 0) (#17)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:36:16 PM EST
    stirring the pot?  ;)

    Here's hoping my parents still have our old piano! I want to start playing again and basic transportation is a bit outta my league for a hobby . . . .


    There's plenty of pot-stirring going on (none / 0) (#19)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:43:06 PM EST
    but the papers and their editors are choosing to put it in print, and not being shy about the admixture of adjectives.

    Look at spinets (none / 0) (#21)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:46:43 PM EST
    you can get even a Steinway spinet, used, for a reasonable price.

    Just remember that, if you ship it more than one or two states' distance, you're going to have to give it a good year to get acclimated to the new environment.  Seriously.  So figure on a couple tunings in that time.


    Thanks! (none / 0) (#24)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:56:52 PM EST
    I won't get one until I'm settled on the west coast. I figure the cabin in the mountains is the perfect place to start up again. No neighbors to bother!{grin} Hopefully I can find one in Ca or close by.

    I have a Yamaha studio upright, (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:29:07 PM EST
    which is taller than a spinet but not as tall as an old-fashioned upright.  The strings are supposed to be as long as on an upright.  Top can be partially opened for a really full sound.

    Probably (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:00:22 PM EST
    A model M or S, which are little toy pianos, in a way. I would prefer an upright grand steinway from the 20's or 30' any day over an M or S.

    My guess is that it was just furniture because anyone who played, had money and space would get a model B at least. It is priced high more than likely because it has a special finish on it.


    Furniture is my assumption, too. (none / 0) (#33)
    by scribe on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:33:34 PM EST
    Every proper high-class Manhattan salon has to have a grand piano available, and Steinway's the home-town brand.

    But I kind of doubt any of the Madoffs played.  I'd suspect they hired someone to come in and play when they entertained and needed piano music.  The common usage in the music performance industry is that the venue provides the piano, properly tuned.  I recently reviewed a form contract and that was written into it.


    Where else to display the (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:50:10 PM EST
    family photos than atop the Steinway piano?

    lol (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:55:38 PM EST
    I am so lowclass that I do not allow anything on my steinway grand piano. Reminds me of a first generation immigrant friend of mine's family. Nice looking (fake) furniture all covered in thick clear plastic.

    Should I be so fortunate as to have (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:58:20 PM EST
    a Steinway grand, I'm with you.

    Had It Almost 30 Years (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:54:37 PM EST
    And during the last rebuild post 9/11 I decided to have it refinished as well. Since it is quite old (1917) the case was very dark brown and alligatored. Cigarette burns all along the music stand area and keyboard. I bought it from a 57th St recording studio where it was used to make over 50+ motown gold records.

    I never cared about the case as the instrument was a gem. Even though there were always piles of all sorts of stuff on the piano I never allowed any liquids near it, no less on it. That was the only rule.

    But after the last rebuild I was worried that if I did not like how it came out I could sell it easily  if I also refinished it. Once removed the dark crusty old shellac revealed sumptuous tiger mahogany. An unbelievably beautiful case.  Who would of guessed.

    Now I do not allow anything on it.


    Re: alligatored Steinway case. (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 07:29:13 PM EST
    I was the music director at a church that was the recipient of a Steinway grand piano with an alligatored case--too much sun at the donor's house.  First I found someone to spring for rebuilding the works.  Later a different donor sprung for refinishing the case.  Beautiful mahogany.  I do miss that piano.

    Well I sure hope so, 'cause the musician can (none / 0) (#40)
    by DFLer on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:01:40 PM EST
    hardly carry an acoustic grand in a gig bag!

    I've read the MCC regs (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 02:11:20 AM EST
    and it's not an exaggeration. He's there because he could be in danger if out in the general population. It is what they say it is. I also read some of the complaints filed by other detainees.

    Bernie has not been convicted yet. A conviction is not final until sentencing is imposed.

    He may be in 10 South temporarily while they determine a better place for him. I hope so.


    Since I'm pretty sure that his (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:59:44 PM EST
    top-notch legal team has been over and over what Madoff's options were, probably lobbied him strongly to take whatever option or avenue would have him living in comfort for as long as possible, and he chose to plead guilty, I don't know why anyone should be worried about the decisions his lawyers are making - because I think Madoff is calling the shots all the way down the line.

    Prison is a good place for him - he's probably safer there than on Park Avenue.

    I agree... (none / 0) (#10)
    by vml68 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:05:25 PM EST
    Madoff is a crook not an idiot. I don't believe anybody would choose being in jail over spending a few more hours, days, weeks in the lap of luxury unless they had very good reasons for doing so.

    I am starting to doubt (none / 0) (#18)
    by Steve M on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:40:31 PM EST
    that Madoff's allocution was honest, particularly his claims that all the other Madoff businesses were honestly-run and profitable.

    Madoff's decision to plead guilty seems inexplicable only if one assumes that he has told the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  It's entirely plausible that his goal was - figuring that he's not beating the rap no matter what - to insulate as many people and as many assets from scrutiny as possible.  Maybe a fast guilty plea succeeds in sweeping everything under the rug, or maybe not.

    Very interesting to read so many (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:51:45 PM EST
    people's theory here Madoff is safer in federal detention facility pending sentenciing than he would be in his residence in NYC.  Who'd a thunk it!

    Maybe, (none / 0) (#43)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:16:58 PM EST
    Bernard is doing what several of his defrauded investors have done:
    committing suicide.

    If that was his goal (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 02:12:54 AM EST
    he would have done it in his bathroom with pills the night before his guilty plea.

    I meant (none / 0) (#48)
    by lentinel on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 03:57:19 AM EST
    he may have a wish to be incarcerated indefinitely.

    When Madoff said, "I knew this day would come", I thought to myself that in some part of his corrupt being, he might be looking forward to it.


    The guy is old, don't know about his health. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Angel on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 07:38:28 AM EST
    But he ruined the lives of so many people.  He needs to be in jail.  He's a crook.  And I hope his wife and family don't get away with all the loot.

    I'll tell you why (none / 0) (#50)
    by jussumbody on Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 10:33:32 PM EST
    Bernie took the fall for his whole family.  He's probably not planning or counting on living very long.  The family sacrificed him, and they are not wasting money on lawyers, money they will need to save other family memembers from jail, and to save their ill gotten fortunes.