A New York City judge allowed disgraced money manager Bernard Madoff to remain free on bail.

Prosecutors were making another attempt to have Madoff jailed.

Madoff did not speak as he was ushered into a Manhattan courthouse before a 2:30 p.m. hearing Wednesday. Metal barricades held back a large group of photographers. The decision came about 3:25 p.m.

Earlier, a silver sport utility vehicle had pulled out of the driveway in front of Madoff's home. Paper on its side windows blocked views inside it.

Click here for photos.

Prosecutors were appealing a judge's ruling that Madoff could remain free in his $7 million penthouse despite government claims he improperly sent valuable jewelry and watches to close relatives and friends.

The hearing came as investigators continue to dig through the former Nasdaq chairman's financial records.

Authorities say Madoff has described what he did with investors' money as a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, paying investors with money raised from new clients.

On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis ordered a tightening of Madoff's $10 million bail conditions to require that his outgoing mail be monitored by a security firm and that an inventory be made of any valuables in his Upper East Side apartment. Madoff already was confined to his apartment with electronic monitoring and 24-hour guard.

Prosecutors notified the court shortly afterward that they would appeal the decision to a federal judge. The hearing Wednesday will focus on the appeal.

Click here to read the judge's decision at FindLaw.