Madoff Returning to Luxury Penthouse

Judge refuses to revoke bail for Ponzi mastermind

By Scott Ross
|  Monday, Jan 12, 2009  |  Updated 1:18 PM EDT
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Bernard Madoff & His Victims

Madoff has been on house arrest for the past month. That could end today depending on what a New York judge says.

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Bernie Madoff has avoided a trip to jail -- for now.

A federal judge today ruled not to revoke Madoff's bail, allowing him to return to his $7 million penthouse apartment.

"The opinion speaks for itself and we intend to comply with the judge's order," said defense lawyer Ira Sorkin.

Madoff, 70, has caused financial pain worldwide since his investment scam was revealed on Dec. 11. Once the candy man for the rich — from Long Island retirees to Palm Beach socialites to Europe's elite — Madoff told investigators that he duped clients for years by using new money to pay off old clients and create a mirage of consistent returns.

The judge's decision is sure to met with outrage from his victims.

"Why should he be living in a penthouse after he's done what he's done?" Burt Ross asked the New York Daily News.

Ross, 64, the former mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., lost about $5 million in Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

The judge did announce that he would be placing further restrictions on Madoff, including a requirement that the disgraced investor supply the court with a catalog of all of his assets.

Calls for Madoff's incarceration heated up over the holidays when he and his wife sent $1 million worth of jewelry and heirlooms to relatives and friends.

Prosecutors said he was trying to hide assets, an allegation his lawyers deny.

A deadline for an indictment against Madoff, which had been set for today, recently was extended 30 days.

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