Bernie Madoff has avoided a trip to jail -- for now.
A federal judge today ruled not to revoke Madoff's bail, allowing him to return to his $7 million penthouse apartment.
"The opinion speaks for itself and we intend to comply with the judge's order," said defense lawyer Ira Sorkin.
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Madoff, 70, has caused financial pain worldwide since his investment scam was revealed on Dec. 11. Once the candy man for the rich — from Long Island retirees to Palm Beach socialites to Europe's elite — Madoff told investigators that he duped clients for years by using new money to pay off old clients and create a mirage of consistent returns.
The judge's decision is sure to met with outrage from his victims.
"Why should he be living in a penthouse after he's done what he's done?" Burt Ross asked the New York Daily News.
Ross, 64, the former mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., lost about $5 million in Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
The judge did announce that he would be placing further restrictions on Madoff, including a requirement that the disgraced investor supply the court with a catalog of all of his assets.
Calls for Madoff's incarceration heated up over the holidays when he and his wife sent $1 million worth of jewelry and heirlooms to relatives and friends.
Prosecutors said he was trying to hide assets, an allegation his lawyers deny.
A deadline for an indictment against Madoff, which had been set for today, recently was extended 30 days.