Madoff to Plead Guilty Thursday
Friday it was reported that Bernard Madoff had reached a plea deal with Government. He is expected to enter a guilty plea Thursday to whatever charges were agreed upon on.
Today, the Government asked the Court to notify potential victims of their right to seek to be heard at the plea hearing. So far, 78 e-mail responses were received, 25 indicating a wish to be heard.
Will they be heard? The relatively recent victims rights law allowing victims to be heard at hearings involving release on bail, plea, sentencing and parole (which, on Nov. 1, 1987, was abolished for offenses committed after that date) is 18 U.S.C. 3771. [More...]
The Court granted the Government's request for notice today, but in its order, it didn't say the victims would be heard. It only said they must notify the court if they want to be heard and then the court will decide if and how to allow it.
According to the court's docket, a sealed document was placed in the court's vault on Friday. I assume that's the plea agreement. [Update 3/10: There is no plea agreement, Madoff will plead straight-up to the charges with no sentence concessions.]
There's also news today that Ruth Madoff, Bernard's wife, is retaining separate counsel. I suspect that's for the separate civil cases. I'd be very surprised if Bernard didn't insist on a promise that she wouldn't be criminally charged as a condition of his agreeing to plead guilty. [Update 3/10: There are no promises regarding his wife since there is no plea agreement.)
Madoff also has a court appearance tomorrow afternoon, to confirm to the court that he waives his right to conflict-free counsel. Years ago, his lawyer had represented two accountants who had invested with Madoff. The hearing is unlikely to be of any interest, but the media will be camped out en masse anyway.
More and updated details here.
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