The Federal judge considering Bernie Madoff’s case told him, understandably, not to send anyone any money. But, prosecutors contended in court yesterday, the Ponzi scheme operator has mailed “at least a million dollars worth of jewelry as gifts to family members and friends” in the interim, and they want his $10 million bail revoked, citing “a clear risk of flight.” Madoff and his wife say they’re getting the gems back. Nonetheless, like many, we expect the oddly obsessive Madoff to fly by jet-pack, super-villain style, to a remote island hideaway at any moment, and would prefer to see him in custody rather than kicking back with “South Park” at his estate.
Meanwhile members of a House committee are scratching their heads over the Madoff affair, prompting Room Eight’s Barry Popick, who is astonished that the Securities and Exchange Commission did not adequately respond to tips about Madoff (and that his Lehman Brothers stock is now worthless), to demand the abolition of the SEC (“It’s useless! It’s garbage! It’s a complete joke!”).