Mon 29 Jun, 2009 09:49 am
should have been public execution
Madoff sentenced to 150 years
Federal judge gives maximum sentence to Ponzi mastermind following his apology and victims' request for life sentence.
By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: June 29, 2009: 11:44 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A federal judge sentenced Bernard Madoff, the convicted mastermind of the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme ever, to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal court Monday.
Judge Denny Chin of U.S. District Court in New York announced the sentence just moments after Madoff apologized to his victims.
"I live in a tormented state for all the pain and suffering I created," Madoff said. "I left a legacy of shame. It is something I will live with for the rest of my life."
Turning to face some of his victims, he addressed them directly: "Saying I'm sorry is not enough. I turn to face you. I know it will not help. I'm sorry."
Madoff said he was not asking for forgiveness and not offering any excuses for his behavior.
"How can you excuse betraying thousands of investors?" he asked. "How can you excuse deceiving hundreds of employees? How can you excuse lying to and deceiving your wife who still stands by you?"
Victims urged a judge to hand down the maximum life sentence against Bernard Madoff, the mastermind of the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme ever.
"We implore you to give the maximum sentence at a maximum prison for this deplorable low life," said one of the victims in court before Madoff spoke. "This is a violent crime without a tangible weapon."
Many of Madoff's investors were wiped out financially by the scam and sent letters to Judge Chin requesting he spend the rest of his life behind bars. Nine of the letter-writers were expected to speak in court on Monday.
Speaking on behalf of his wife and looking at Madoff, the victim said, "I have a marriage made in heaven. You have [a] marriage made in hell, and that's where you'll return. May God spare you no mercy."
The 150-year sentence is the maximum that federal prosecutors in New York requested, based on the number of Madoff's victims, the amount of money he stole and the extent of the damage he caused.
Judge Chin said that the Federal Department of Probation had recommended a 50-year sentence.
Madoff, who was stripped of his property in a legal action Friday, confessed on March 12 to running a massive Ponzi scheme. He pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts, including fraud, money laundering, perjury, false filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other crimes.
Lawyer Ira Lee Sorkin, who represents Madoff, asked for a 12-year sentence. In a letter to the judge, Sorkin explained that his 71-year-old client "has an approximate life expectancy of 13 years" and isn't likely to outlive the requested sentence by more than a year.
Madoff orchestrated the scam by masquerading his investment firm as a legitimate business. But the business became a front for a Ponzi scheme, in which the scammer uses fresh money from unsuspecting investors to make payments to more mature investors, creating the false appearance of legitimate returns.
Madoff sent statements to victims claiming that their investments had grown several times over, but in actuality he had stolen, not invested, their money. Investigators believe that he had been running his scam since at least the 1980s until he finally ran out of money in December 2008.
In a $170 billion legal judgment against Madoff, the government announced Friday it had seized all of his property in a deal that also forces his wife to give up homes and property worth millions. The value of all the assets will eventually be used to compensate -- or partially compensate -- victims, based on how much they invested in Madoff's firm.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, an organization that shields investors in brokerage firms, will also pay up to $500,000 for any eligible claimant who lost money to Madoff, based on how much they put in.
Thus far, federal investigators have identified 1,341 investors in Madoff's firm, who have losses exceeding $13 billion. They're still tallying the damage. Victims have until July 2 to file a claim with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
Since March, Madoff has been incarcerated in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan, a holding facility for convicts awaiting sentencing. He will probably be transferred to a medium-security federal prison, according to prison consultants.
Alan Ellis, attorney and author of the "Federal Prison Guidebook," believes that Madoff will probably get sent to Federal Correctional Institute Otisville or FCI Ray Brook, both in upstate New York, FCI Fairton in New Jersey or FCI McKean in Pennsylvania.
if not death penalty, then throw him with the general population at Rikers
sorry, I didnt see yours when I started a similar thread.
I suggested that we start a term to celebrate Bernie's msicreancy. Like a "ponzi". I suggested "DOING A BERNIE" to mean that someone thoughtlessly, ruthlessly , adn without remorse, intentionally fucks anothers life.
Hamsters pulled mine so I want to reiterate that, as a function oif this sentencing , the DOW is up 88 points shortly after 11AM
Your thread is still there. I just looked at it.
I think 50 years would have sufficed. He would be 121 when he got out.