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Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff's lawyer has asked a federal appeals court to let his client stay out of prison until sentencing.

The court said it will not rule immediately.

Lawyer Ira Sorkin spoke Thursday to a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He said a judge made a legal error when he ordered Madoff jailed last week.

The 70-year-old Madoff was imprisoned after he pleaded guilty to securities fraud and other charges. He admitted he had cheated investors for at least two decades of billions of dollars.

Prosecutors say Madoff should remain in prison because he is a higher risk to flee after pleading guilty.

Madoff faces up to 150 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.