Madoff May Plead Guilty

Lawyers indicate that a plea deal is pending
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2009 11:03 AM CST
In this Jan. 14, 2009, file photo, besieged money manager Bernard Madoff arrives at federal court in New York.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Prosecutors filed court papers today indicating Bernard Madoff may be ready to plead guilty to charges arising from one of the biggest financial frauds in history. Madoff, 70, is scheduled for court twice next week, including a Tuesday appearance to waive any potential conflicts of interest involving his lawyer and a Thursday arraignment. A defendant must enter a plea—guilty or not guilty—at an arraignment.

The US attorney's office suggested today in a brief court filing that the money manager is ready to waive an indictment, and one of Madoff's lawyers said he had already done so. A waiver of indictment is a necessary procedural step before a defendant enters a guilty plea. Madoff has been confined to his Manhattan penthouse since his arrest in December after he told his family he had engaged in a $50 billion fraud. Authorities have since said money lost by investors might be less than $17 billion.