NEW YORK (AP) – A federal judge says investors can force Bernard Madoff into personal bankruptcy proceedings.

Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission have argued that it would be unnecessary and costly for the convicted financier to file for personal bankruptcy.

But U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton disagreed in an opinion released Friday.

The 70-year-old Madoff is in prison awaiting a June sentencing after pleading guilty last month to charges that he defrauded investors of billions of dollars.

A court-appointed trustee is in the process of liquidating his business assets.

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