The Washington Times - January 12, 2009, 01:02PM

A New York City judge has ruled that Bernie Madoff, who is accused of committing a $50 billion fraud, can remain out on bail in his Park Avenue apartment instead of jail, the AP is reporting.

Prosecutors sought to revoke Madoff’s bail because he mailed more than $1 million in jewels and heirlooms to family and friends during the holidays. They said the jewels and heirlooms were assets Madoff could have used to repay duped investors.

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Madoff’s attorneys said the mailing was an innocent mistake.

I have a feeling that this might be the theme of Madoff’s defense — an innocent mistake.  Why not?  It’s worked once already.

I can understand how Madoff made his mistake because I often mail heirlooms and jewels to family and friends when I’m under house arrest.  It happens.

Madoff is under house arrest in his $7 million apartment on Park Avenue, and a private security firm has been hired to protect him.  But lest you think Madoff is enjoying himself, let me tell you that is NOT the case.  He has to drink tap water.  And he is being allowed to use linen that has only a 300 thread count.  Yeah, it’s Egyptian cotton, but still…

I wouldn’t call Madoff’s $7 million apartment “luxurious.”  I mean, c’mon!  The doorman doesn’t wear Prada, and the concierge service is available only 18 hours a day.

Maybe Madoff’s time under house arrest will prepare him for a federal prison sentence if he’s convicted.