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Madoff will plead guilty to all charges: Lawyer

Bernard Madoff could be facing his final hours of freedom after acknowledging that he will plead guilty to charges that he engineered one of the largest investment scams in US history and was ready to face a prison sentence of up to 150 years.

world Updated: Mar 11, 2009 17:47 IST

Bernard Madoff could be facing his final hours of freedom after acknowledging that he will plead guilty to charges that he engineered one of the largest investment scams in US history and was ready to face a prison sentence of up to 150 years.

The revelation came yesterday in US District Court in Manhattan, where Madoff waited for more than three hours in a conference room to avoid a clash with angry investors before appearing in court for the first time in nearly two months for what was to be a routine hearing.

An attorney for the 70-year-old former Nasdaq chairman told the judge Madoff intends to plead guilty this week to all 11 felony counts, including securities fraud and perjury.

The judge will decide Thursday whether to accept the plea and, if so, whether Madoff should remain free pending sentencing in several months.

Madoff, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, is accused of running a gigantic Ponzi scheme, defrauding billions of dollars from retirees, charities, school trusts and even Holocaust survivors.

Madoff buttoned his jacket and straightened it as he rose from his seat to speak. Aside from occasionally speaking with his lawyers or writing on a sheet of paper in front of him, he looked forward.