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Prosecutors want Madoff jailed over 'jewelry transfers'

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to jail the former Wall Street broker Bernard Madoff pending his trial for securities fraud after he allegedly violated a court order by transferring more than $1 million in jewelry and other valuables out of his Manhattan home.

Speaking in court, US assistant attorney Marc Litt said Mr Madoff and his wife had delivered antique watches, pens, cufflinks and even mittens to family members including Mr Madoff's son and brother, the Financial Times reports.

This amounted to an "obstruction of justice" and underlines the potential flight risk, Mr Litt added.

Mr Madoff is currently under 24-hour house arrest at his $7 million New York apartment. He is on $10 million bail and last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission had his assets frozen as part of its civil case.

In related news, the Wall Street Journal reports that Mr Madoff solicited $250 million from 95-year-old friend and investor Carl Shapiro in a last-ditch bid to prevent his firm's collapse.

Mr Shapiro personally stands to lose around $400 million from the scandal, it added.

A judge is expected to rule on the detention request Mr Madoff on Thursday (January 8th).