A U.S. appeals court on Friday denied Bernard Madoff's bid to be released from jail white he awaits sentencing for the biggest ever Wall Street investment fraud.

The court upheld the decision of a lower court judge, who last week ordered Madoff to jail immediately after the disgraced money manager pleaded guilty to a massive investment fraud that prosecutors say defrauded clients of as much as $65 billion over 20 years.

In sum, the district court did not clearly err in its assessment that the defendant has failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said in a written ruling. The order of the district court is affirmed.

(Reporting by Martha Graybow, editing by Dave Zimmerman)