MANHATTAN (CN) - The U.S. Attorney on Tuesday asked a federal judge to revoke Bernard Madoff's $10 million bail, saying he is depleting his assets. U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin said Madoff "sent a package containing a total of approximately 13 watches, one diamond necklace, an emerald ring and two sets of cufflinks ... the value of those items could exceed $1 million. Two other packages - containing a diamond bracelet, a gold watch, a diamond Cartier watch, a diamond Tiffany watch, four diamond brooches, a jade necklace, and other assorted jewelry - also were sent to relatives."
Dassin said that Madoff violated terms of his release by sending the jewels, and that the "changed circumstances" justify locking him up. "The contents of those packages have been recovered by the government," Dassin wrote to U.S. Magistrate Ronald Ellis on Tuesday. "In addition, as indicated at the January 5 hearing, the defendant and/or his wife sent at least two additional packages (contents unknown) to the defendant's brother and an unidentified couple in Florida."
Dassin said Madoff's actions "show the defendant's willingness to disobey an explicit court order - one to which he had consented expressly in December 11 - thereby calling into question the seriousness with which he will treat the orders of the court in his criminal case, including orders requiring the defendant's appearance in court. Second, the transfer of these valuable assets shows that the current bail conditions are insufficient to assure the safety of the community from the defendant because they show that the defendant who, by his own admission, has valuable items of personal property in his three residences in the United States and his residence in France, may dissipate those assets."
Madoff was arrested on Dec. 11 and charged with running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history - costing investors $50 billion. His bail was set at $10 million, and modified on Dec. 19, to include home detention with electronic monitoring and round the clock surveillance. The court on Monday asked Dassin to justify his request for revocation of the bond. Madoff's attorneys were given until Wednesday to respond.