Madoff Indictment Deadline Extended

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
|  Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 AM PDT
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Bernard Madoff & His Victims

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Bernard Madoff's indictment hearing has been postponed for at least 30 days, a source close to the investigation said.

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NEW YORK  — Faced with a deadline to obtain a grand jury indictment, the government and lawyers for disgraced investor Bernard Madoff agreed Wednesday to a 30-day delay.

A federal magistrate judge approved the postponement Wednesday, when the government had faced a deadline to indict the Wall Street financier. The new deadline to bring an indictment was moved to March 13.

A message for comment left with Ira Sorkin, a lawyer for Madoff, was not immediately returned.

Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for prosecutors, said the office had no comment on the matter.

Madoff was arrested in December after investigators said he confessed to his sons that he had swindled investors of $50 billion in a Ponzi scheme.

The 70-year-old former Nasdaq chairman remains confined to his Manhattan penthouse under house arrest.

Earlier this week, Madoff reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle some of the civil fraud charges brought against him.

According to the terms of the deal, civil fraud allegations cannot be contested by Madoff and it will be decided later whether civil fines and restitution will be ordered.

Since Madoff's arrest, investigators have been assessing the financial damage inflicted on thousands of people who lost money investing with Madoff.

The victims identified so far have included ordinary people and Hollywood celebrities, along with large hedge funds, international banks and charities in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

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