Why should I do the heavy lifting when someone else does it and I can just link to them? Although, I do not expect anyone to believe me, I had come to the same conclusion about Madoff's plea before I read Simple Justice. That is, that by pleading to these counts it was the only way to (perhaps) tramp down all the evidence of conspiracy with his sons and wife and other relatives.
I mean let's face it all Madoff can do is hope to keep the kids, at least, out of it. And let's also face it that Madoff was allowed to plead to eleven counts that did not include conspiracy. I suspect that the problem with that is that when the victims realize that there really isn't a lot of (or maybe any) money to cover their investment, they will start to check out the other parts of his "businesses" and his relatives. They can bring civil suits and, stuff will probably come out in five or six years. I suspect that if the only victims were poor (before Madoff's crime was revealed, that is) people and charities, all of that sordid stuff might be kept hidden. But given that the victims are (or were) the wealthy I suspect that it will all come out in the end.
Although, you have gotta wonder just what the prosecutor was thinking and what is going on letting Madoff plead with no conspiracy count. That certainly raises questions about the forth rightness of the U.S. Attorney.