Madoff expected to plead guilty Thursday

James Cohen in UPI, March 10, 2009

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NEW YORK, March 10 (UPI) -- Accused New York trader Bernard Madoff is likely to plead guilty to what is called the largest fraud case in history, his attorney said Tuesday.  

"It is anticipated that he will plead guilty on Thursday," Madoff's attorney Ira Sorkin said in an interview, MarketWatch reported. "I have no comment beyond that," he said. 

However, Madoff, accused of 11 felony fraud counts involving a scheme that lost as much as $50 billion, will first have to clarify his attorney's position, ABC News reported. 

Sorkin said Tuesday he had invested $18,860 with Madoff. 

Madoff, however, is expected to waive off any conflict of interest issues, ABC said. 

Prosecutors said Madoff's plea could end up with a sentence of 150 years in prison. As far as recovered funds, however, "it doesn't seem they (investors) will see any recovery of consequence," Fordham Law School Professor Jim Cohen said.  

In fact, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities held "only a small fraction" of the $65 billion it claimed to have on its books, federal prosecutors said. 

"While the alleged crimes are not novel, the size and scope of Mr. Madoff's fraud are unprecedented," Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin said.