Bail was set at $10 million Thursday for jailed financier Bernard Madoff's former finance chief, who has remained imprisoned since he pleaded guilty six months ago and cooperated with the government's investigation.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan required Frank DiPascali, 53, to remain under house arrest and required that he and his wife forfeit all family assets except for an amount of less than $300,000 to be agreed upon by the government, the defendant and the judge.
Sullivan twice before rejected requests for DiPascali's freedom, calling his role in the fraud "crucial" and saying his potential sentence was "astronomical."
His lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said he hopes his client will be released by early next week.
"We are thrilled that judge Sullivan granted the bail application," Mukasey said.
DiPascali pleaded guilty in August to helping Madoff's multi-decade Ponzi scheme that cost thousands of investors billions of dollars. Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence.
Sullivan's refusal to let DiPascali await sentencing on bail was unusual because even the government was not standing in the way.
Mukasey had assured the judge on several occasions that DiPascali was providing evidence that could be used to arrest others in the case.
The bail package requires DiPascali to remain at his home at all times, except when he goes to court, travels with investigators or faces a medical emergency. Except for a medical emergency, at least one FBI agent will be required to travel with him, the judge wrote.
The bail arrangement also allow the FBI to conduct routine home inspections.
It also requires family or friends of DiPascali to pledge $2 million in cash or property to secure DiPascali's release.
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