There was a fair expectation that accused swindler Bernard Madoff will plead guilty on Thursday to criminal charges in Wall Street's biggest fraud, his lawyer said in court on Tuesday.

Asked by Judge Denny Chin in U.S. District Court in Manhattan whether Madoff, 70, will plead guilty to 11 criminal counts by U.S. prosecutors on Thursday, his lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, said: I think that is a fair expectation.

U.S. prosecutor Marc Litt said there was no plea agreement with Madoff.

At a court hearing in New York over potential conflicts of interest for Sorkin, Madoff said Yes I am when asked by the judge whether he was satisfied with his attorney continuing to represent him.

U.S. prosecutors have said Madoff, out on $10 million bail but under 24-hour house arrest and electronic surveillance in his luxury Manhattan apartment, ran the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors are paid with the money of new clients.

The purported swindle ran for decades with amazingly consistent returns of between 10 and 12 percent, but collapsed in last year's market meltdown, shocking thousands of investors worldwide.

(Additional reporting by Edith Honan, editing by Matthew Lewis)