The federal judge deciding whether to revoke Bernard Madoff's bail will announce his decision on Monday, giving the fraudulent investor another weekend under house arrest at his $7 million Upper East Side penthouse.
Prosecutors have argued that Madoff is a flight risk, by violating his bail conditions by distributing his assets (mailing out in excess of $1 million worth of jewelry, watches, and other items to relatives). The feds also mentioned how, when he was arrested, the FBI found $173 million worth of checks, made out to relatives, friends and employees. But there's new Madoff news, too:
- Madoff may have told his younger brother Peter, who is the chief compliance officer of Madoff Investment Securities, about his $50 billion Ponzi scheme on December 9, which is a day before Madoff's lawyer says he confessed to his brother and sons. Some experts tell the NY Times Peter Madoff should have told the authorities immediately, but one admits, "He may just have needed a night to sleep on it — it was his brother, after all." Madoff's own sons, Andrew and Mark, were the ones who turned their father into the authorities.
- Liquidators and investigators have only identified $1 billion worth of assets belonging to Madoff. Which means billions are still missing.
- J. Ezra Merkin, a hedge fund manager who lost over $1.5 billion of clients' money by investing with Madoff (among the clients: NYU, Yeshiva University), stepped down as chairman of GMAC, the financing arm of GM. GMAC lost almost $8 billion over the five quarters Merkin was at the helm.
- As British authorities investigate Madoff's British firm, the Times (of London) reports that two of Madoff's British directors had about $150 million invested in their boss's American brokerage.
- And Madoff's actions inspired a Manhattan resident to create—with the help of a chef friend—"BERNIE IN HELL" hot sauce (pictured, below). Alex Gardega, who explained to the Post, "I'm not selling hot sauce - I'm selling a statement," said he was inspired while watching coverage of the scandal, "I said, 'Burn in Hell, Bernie!' I was so mad at this coward, this crook."
Gardega writes on the website that due to "international media attention," he's increasing the run from 2,500 bottles (a number he picked randomly) to 250,000, "I... WANT TO FULLFILL THE GREAT INTERNATIONAL NEED TO VENT ON THIS AMERICAN ISSUE THAT IS NO LONGER JUST AN AMERICAN ISSUE."