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Madoff Plea Deal Expected

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A plea deal could be in the works for Bernard Madoff, accused of swindling investors out of $50 billion dollars in a Ponzi scheme.

REPORTER: The US Attorney's office has indicated in court papers that Madoff is ready to waive an indictment -- language that's used when plea deals are ready to happen. Columbia University law professor John Coffee says the government has considerable interest in striking a deal:

COFFEE: I don't think he has any realistic chance of acquittal. But it is time, money, expense, and a good deal of delay. The government would like to go ahead and get a guilty plea and start the longer process of returning restitution to the victims.

REPORTER: The Securities Investor Protection Corporation says it has sent out checks to two victims. Investors are eligible for up to $500,000 in restitution from the group, which is funded by the financial industry. It steps in when a brokerage firm fails.

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