Lawyers: Madoff to plead guilty

NEW YORK — Bernard Madoff will plead guilty Thursday to 11 criminal counts including money laundering, perjury, and securities, mail and wire fraud, and will do so without a plea deal, knowing it carries a potential prison term of 150 years, lawyers said Tuesday in court.

The arrangement was outlined after Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq chairman, waived several potential conflicts of interest between himself and his attorney, Ira Sorkin.

Asked by the judge whether Madoff would plead guilty, Sorkin said: "I think that's a fair expectation."

In papers filed after Tuesday's proceeding, prosecutors outlined the case against Madoff, who quietly spoke in court, answering the questions of U.S. District Judge Denny Chin.

Prosecutors said in the papers that Madoff operated an elaborate Ponzi scheme in which his clients' funds were misappropriated and converted to the use of Madoff, his business and others.

Chin said he will not sentence Madoff for several months.

Sorkin complained that federal authorities have not let Madoff's attorneys study the financial records of his company so he can show that some individuals or financial funds actually received more in payouts over the years than they are claiming they lost.

Chin said he understood that Madoff was not agreeing to the extent of the losses.

Although authorities have outlined a $50 billion fraud that they say Madoff carried out for many years, those reviewing his company's books say the actual size might have been less than $20 billion.

So far, authorities have located $1 billion for defrauded investors.

Sorkin's family had invested more than $900,000 with Madoff. After questioning Madoff, the judge ruled that Sorkin could continue to represent him.