Madoff to Appear At Court Hearing Wednesday

Accused swindler Bernard Madoff will be attending a court hearing set for Wednesday over a potential conflict of interest regarding his attorney, Ira Sorkin, CNBC has learned.

A clerk in the chambers of Judge Leonard Sand in U.S. District Court in Manhattan said on Tuesday that the hearing was requested by the government in its criminal case against Madoff, who has been charged in a $50 billion worldwide fraud.

"The hearing is over a potential conflict of interest between Mr Madoff and his attorney,'' the clerk said. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m.

A person close to the situation told CNBC that the judge will ask Madoff about two issues the government has identified as being a potential conflicts.

The first issue is Sorkin's representation of Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes back in 1992. The two men were sued by the SEC for selling $441 million in unregistered securities to 3,200 investors, money they invested with a single, unidentified manager.

The manager turned out to be Madoff, though the SEC's investigation did not name him, or investigate him further.

The second issue is an account that Sorkin's mother had with Madoff. She has since passed away and the money from the account was distributed to Sorkin's two sons.

The source told CNBC Madoff is aware of these conflicts.

Madoff's attorney Sorkin could not immediately be reached for comment.

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—Reuters contributed to this story. For more stories from CNBC, go to

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