If Ruth Madoff wants to escape public scorn, she is now free to leave the country.

A federal judge on Monday ordered the court system to return Madoff's passport.

She had given up the document last December when she posted bail for her husband, Bernard Madoff.

Bernard Madoff, 71, is now serving a 150-year prison term for a giant Ponzi scheme.

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Ruth Madoff has not been charged, but she has been forced to give up all but $2.5 million of her family's personal fortune.

The confiscated assets included her penthouse apartment in Manhattan.