Showing posts from March, 2009

Supreme Court Rules Regarding Broken Plea Bargains

In a vote of 7-2 in the case of Puckett v. United States , the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that where federal prosecutors violated a plea bargain with an accused, the violation must be preserved at the trial court level to avoid the application of Rule 52(b). James Puckett was indicted for bank robbery in July 2002. He later negotiated a plea agreement with the government in which he agreed to plead guilty in return for the government agreeing to a reduction in his guideline offense level for acceptance of responsibility and a sentence at the lowest end of the applicable guideline range. Prior to sentencing, however, Puckett assisted in a scheme to defraud the postal service. When sentencing took place, the government opposed any reductions in Puckett's offense level for acceptance of responsibility. The district court then determined that even if it could grant the reduction, it would not. At no time did Puckett's counsel object to the government's new position.

Breaking News! Madoff Pleads Guilty to Eleven Counts

Madoff has pleaded guilty to all eleven counts. Here is a description of the events by the New York Times . Standing before Judge Denny Chin in United States District Court in Manhattan, Mr. Madoff was asked, “How do you now plead to the information, guilty or not guilty?” “Guilty,” he responded. The hearing on Thursday marks the first time since he was arrested by federal agents on Dec. 11 that Mr. Madoff has spoken publicly about how he ran what was perhaps the largest fraud in Wall Street history, a global scheme that ensnared hedge funds, nonprofit groups and celebrities, and devastated the life savings of thousands of people. Dressed in a gray suit, Mr. Madoff, 70, stood up in a courtroom packed with journalists, lawyers and some of his victims and pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud,money laundering, perjury and theft — charges whose maximum sentences total 150 years. Mr. Madoff then answered questions about how he sustained a 20-year fraud whose collapse erased as much as $65

Madoff to Plead Guilty to Eleven Charges in Ponzi Scheme

Bloomberg has gathered some of the details regarding the plea agreement Madoff will enter on Thursday.  According to the reports, Madoff will plead guilty to eleven criminal charges related to a fraud that prosecutors state began in the 1980s.  By last November, Madoff told 4,800 investors their accounts held $64.8 billion, according to court papers filed in Manhattan federal court. Prosecutors will seek forfeiture from Madoff of as much as $170 billion. Madoff, free on $10 million bail, faces 150 years in prison. “There is no plea agreement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Litt said at hearing today before U.S. District Judge Denny Chin. Madoff, originally charged with a sole count of securities fraud, will plead guilty to that charge and an additional 10 counts filed today in a so-called criminal information, defense attorney Ira Sorkin said. The new charges are investment adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, false statements, perjury, false filings

Madoff Plea Deal May Be In The Works

According to MSNBC , prosecutors have filed a motion that indicates Bernard Madoff may be preparing to plead guilty to charges related to one of the largest frauds in history. The indication came in a brief filed with the court that stated Madoff is waiving indictment, a potential sign that a deal is in the works. NBC's Pete Williams, citing an unnamed law enforcement official, said Madoff may plead guilty next week. The official said under the terms of the deal, Madoff will serve prison time and be required to help the government put together a full accounting of what happened. The filing was the latest sign pointing toward a possible plea deal with Madoff, who has been confined to his Manhattan penthouse since his arrest in December. Madoff has never contested the allegations and recently surrendered millions of dollars in major assets, actions that typically precede plea deals. Investigators have spent the last three months trying to untangle Madoff's complicated financial o