Breaking News! Madoff Pleads Guilty to Eleven Counts
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 billion that his customers thought they had in their accounts.
His immediate fate remained in the balance. The is expected to rule later Thursday on whether Mr. Madoff will remain free on bail and return to his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, or whether he will be immediately jailed as he awaits sentencing.
Some of Mr. Madoff’s victims are also expected to speak on whether the judge should accept Mr. Madoff’s guilty plea, and whether his $10 million bail should be revoked.