Madoff to appeal bail, net worth revealed

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Lawyers for jailed swindler  Bernard Madoff argued for his release pending sentencing and a  list of assets put he and his wife’s net worth between $823  million and $826 million, according to court papers filed yesterday.

Madoff, 70, was jailed on Thursday after pleading guilty to  running the biggest investment fraud in Wall Street history  that drew in as much as $65 billion over 20 years.
His sentencing on 11 criminal charges is scheduled for June  16, when he could be imprisoned for the rest of his life.

A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the  Second Circuit in New York will hear oral arguments on March 19  on two motions by Madoff’s lawyers.

Court papers filed yesterday revealed the list of assets  that Madoff provided on Dec. 31 to the U.S. Securities and  Exchange Commission, which brought civil charges against the  former Nasdaq stock market chairman.
The net value of Madoff’s ownership in his business,  Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC was $700  million, according to the list. It put the net worth of Bernard  Madoff and Ruth Madoff at between $823 million and $826  million.

Madoff’s lawyer declined comment on the asset list, as did  Peter Chavkin, a lawyer for Ruth Madoff.
Most of the assets listed were in Ruth Madoff’s name.  Properties in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Florida, Antibes and  France amounting to $19 million are in her name. The couple  jointly owned a $3 million property on New York’s Long Island.

In a court filing in early March, their lawyers said $69  million in property and accounts belonged to her and was  unrelated to the fraud, including the $7 million apartment  where he was held under house arrest until Thursday.

Madoff’s business and personal assets were frozen following  his Dec. 11 arrest. A court-appointed trustee winding down the  firm said last month he recovered about $946.4 million for  former customers.
The asset list confirmed some of the properties and  valuables such as jewelry and cars owned by the Madoffs, who  have been married for nearly 50 years. The list showed legal  fees of $100,000.
A yacht called “Bull” in France valued at $7 million is in  Ruth Madoff’s name. A Rybovich fishing boat, also called “Bull”  in Palm Beach, Florida, valued at $2.2 million belonged to  Bernard Madoff.
Furniture, goods and fine art in his four residences, plus  his office, total $9,920,522. A Steinway piano in their $7  million New York apartment is valued at $39,000 and, also in  her name, is $65,000 in silverware, according to the list.

In summary, the list shows $22 million in real estate, $17  million in cash at Wachovia bank in Ruth Madoff’s name, and  almost $10 million in furniture, goods and fine art spread  across residences and the office.
There is also $45 million in municipal bonds listed as  belonging to Ruth Madoff at Cohmad Securities, a brokerage  partly owned by Bernard Madoff, and a $12 million interest in a  company charter aircraft.

Madoff’s new surroundings in a small cell at the  Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan across the street  from the federal courthouse where he pleaded guilty, is a far  cry from the opulent lifestyle reflected in the asset list.

In the appeal, one motion aims to suspend an order made at  Thursday’s plea proceeding by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin to  revoke Madoff’s $10 million bail.

The panel will also hear a motion from the lawyers to  reinstate his bail conditions.
“The District Court erroneously failed to release Mr.  Madoff because the evidence clearly shows that Mr. Madoff is  not a flight risk and does not pose a threat to the community,”  a court document said.
It said Madoff does not have the means to flee.
The lawyers argued Madoff needs to be released so he could  contribute to resolving a dispute over restitution and/or  forfeiture.

“Mr Madoff’s contribution to this effort will be severely  hampered, if not altogether eliminated, if he is remanded,” the  lawyers said in the filing with the appeals court.
They said  Madoff  “was the only person responsible for the crimes and, as  a result, is the only person with the knowledge needed to  decipher the relevant records.”

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