A copy of the transcript of the hearing at which Frank DiPascali pleaded guilty in the Madoff case yesterday is available here. One of the most extraordinary parts occurs near the end of the hearing. After hearing both the prosecution and the defense argue that DiPascali should be released on bail, Judge Richard J. Sullivan stunned everyone by denying the request and remanding DiPascali into custody.
Judge Sullivan stated:
So, look, let me say this: I have great respect for the lawyers in this room. I know them. I think they are good at what they do and I have great respect for them. Clearly they have taken the positions they take because they believe them and I don’t disregard that lightly. On the other hand, I think everybody recognizes that each of us has an independent role to play in this process.
Mr. Litt and Mr. Mukasey have focused on what Mr. DiPascali has done since December of 2008. I keep focusing on what he did for 20 or 30 years before that. I keep thinking of how many people put their trust in Mr. DiPascali and have lived to regret it deeply and I am frankly reluctant to put my trust in Mr. DiPascali. I don’t see why he would anymore respect the oath he would take on a bail package than he would respect the oath he took in front of the SEC, another arm of the government. So I think we may have disagreement on this one.
I am not persuaded. Maybe I haven’t heard enough about how remand would affect his ability to cooperate with the government. I think there are lots of individuals who are in custody who can still cooperate very effectively and work with law enforcement agents very effectively. On this record, in the length of time that this conspiracy went on, again the amount and nature of the misrepresentations to clients, to government entities, to auditors, I just cannot find by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. DiPascali does not pose a risk of flight. I just can’t do it.