Madoff sightings cause heads to turn in New York
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK Jan 5 (Reuters) - Even in a city accustomed to notorious figures in its midst, the latest sighting of Bernard Madoff caused heads to turn.
Madoff made a surprise court appearance on Monday that attracted throngs of reporters, photographers and tourists to the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan for a glimpse of him.
If they were seeking answers to what the government alleges could be a $50 billion investment fraud, they were once again disappointed.
The onetime Nasdaq chairman and money manager said nothing, either in court or after the hearing, wearing the same calm look on his face he displayed when he was last sighted outside his apartment building in December.
The accused swindler -- ordered to appear in court at a hastily convened hearing on Monday after federal prosecutors sought to have him jailed for allegedly violating his bail terms -- was silent during the one-hour proceeding.
The gray-haired Wall Street veteran wore a charcoal gray suit and dark tie to the hearing, held at the same courthouse where accused mafia bosses, terrorism suspects and other famous white-collar defendants, such as homemaking entrepreneur Martha Stewart, have also appeared.
The judge made no immediate ruling on the request by federal prosecutors to revoke Madoff's bail. The government argued Madoff and his wife mailed valuables such as jewelry and watches to friends and family members, in violation of his bail terms.
After the hearing, as reporters waited for Madoff outside the 26th floor courtroom, federal marshals ordered the media to leave the area.
Under tight security, Madoff later walked out of the front doors of the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan to an awaiting sedan, ignoring the throng of reporters and photographers who shouted questions at him such as: "What did you do with the jewelry?"
He looked straight ahead as photographers crowded around his car and took pictures of him through the glass windows. Tourists and other bystanders also took photographs.
Madoff, once a respected Wall Street trader, is under home confinement in his $7 million Manhattan apartment following his Dec. 11 arrest for securities fraud.
He has yet to formally respond to the case against him in court and has been allowed to stay out on bail before trial to the ire of his former investors, who say he should have been jailed immediately after his arrest.
Madoff's chief lawyer, Ira Sorkin, has declined to provide any insight into what his client has been doing under house arrest, or about Madoff's physical or mental well-being.
In court on Monday, the attorney stuck to the issues of the bail hearing, saying Madoff had not violated his bail and was not a flight risk as the government contends. (Editing by Andre Grenon)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this