Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

US seeks $100m of Madoff assets

Madoff arriving for Thursday's court hearing
Madoff insists he acted alone

The US is trying to seize more than $100m (71m) of property and assets belonging to disgraced US financier Bernard Madoff, prosecutors have said.

Homes, cars, boats, silverware and a piano are among the items listed as well as securities and other assets.

Some of the possessions are in the name of Mr Madoff's wife, Ruth.

Last week Mr Madoff pleaded guilty to a $50bn fraud and was sent to jail to await sentencing in June. He has appealed about being kept on remand.

An appeals court will hear the case on 19 March with his lawyers saying he should be released until sentencing because he never made any attempt to flee while under house arrest at his Manhattan penthouse.

Mr Madoff, 70, faces up to 150 years in prison.

Investigation continues

Among the possessions that US prosecutors want Mr and Mrs Madoff to forfeit are homes valued at a total of $22m in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Florida, Cap d'Antibes, France and on New York's Long Island.

MADOFF ASSETS

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There is about $17m in a bank account and municipal bonds valued at approximately $45m as well as boats worth a total of $10m, $65,000-worth of silverware and a $39,000 Steinway piano.

Madoff has pleaded guilty to 11 charges - four counts of fraud, three counts of money laundering, making false statements, perjury, making a false filing to the US financial watchdog, and theft from an employee benefit plan.

Prosecutors are investigating if others were involved in the crime.

Madoff told his court hearing that his family members, and other colleagues, had only ever worked in parts of his business - Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities - that were "legitimate, profitable and successful".

A former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, Madoff had been a Wall Street figure for more than 40 years.

Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme, whereby early investors were paid off with the money of new clients.

While he said it only started in the early 1990s, prosecutors say it began in the 1980s.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Boston Globe US turns up the heat on Madoff clan, wants assets - 4 hrs ago
Xinhua News Agency U.S. prosecutors step up pressure on Madoff's family - 5 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited US authorities to seize $69m of Ruth Madoff's assets - 7 hrs ago
Washington Post Prosecutors Seek More Madoff Assets - 7 hrs ago
Straits Times Heat on Madoff's sons - 7 hrs ago



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