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Federal prosecutor requests that Madoff be jailed for mailing jewelry to relatives

[JURIST] Assistant US Attorney Marc Litt on Tuesday urged that Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive] be jailed, in a brief [text, PDF] filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]. Litt alleges that Madoff mailed valuable jewelry to family members in violation of a court order prohibiting him from disposing of or concealing any assets. Madoff allegedly sent a package that could be valued at more than $1 million containing approximately 13 watches, a diamond necklace, an emerald ring, and two sets of cufflinks. Litt argued:

The need for detention in this case is clear. The continued release of the defendant presents a danger to the community of additional economic harm and further obstruction of justice. ... Monetary penalties, including restitution and forfeiture, are an important part of justice and will, in the event of a conviction, be part of any sentence in this case. Dissipation of the defendant's assets through transfer to third parties obstruct justice within the meaning of the bail statute because they make it more difficult, if not impossible, to recover all available forfeitable assets to recompense victims.
Madoff remains free on $10 million bail but has been confined to his Manhattan residence.

Madoff was charged [JURIST report] last month with violating the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 [texts]. Madoff allegedly told two employees of his firm that his investment advisory business was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme." In the week following Madoff's charges, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox [official profile] said that he would launch an immediate investigation [press release; JURIST report] into how the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Bernard Madoff went undetected for so long.

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