Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bernard Madoff gets maximum 150 years jail sentence!!!

Bernard Madoff will only be released from prison when he is 221 years old!!!

A federal judge in New York, today rejected Bernard Madoff's plea for leniency, sentencing the 71-year-old swindler to spend the rest of his life in prison for an "extraordinarily evil" fraud that took a staggering toll on thousands of victims.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin cited the unprecedented nature of the multibillion-dollar fraud as he sentenced Madoff to the maximum of 150 years in prison, a term comparable only to those given in the past to terrorists, traitors and the most violent criminals.

There is no parole in federal prison so Madoff will most likely die there.

However, Madoff's sentence was not the longest for a white-collar criminal. New York businessman Sholam Weiss, 55, was sentenced in February 2000 to 845 years in prison for his role in a plot that skimmed $400 million from an insurance company, costing many of its 25,000 customers their life savings. The government lists his release date as Nov. 23, 2754... at the age of 809 years!!!!

And Norman Schmidt, 73, was sentenced in Denver last year to 330 years in prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar investment scam. He's scheduled for release in September 2291... by then Schimdt will be 355 years old!!!!

"Here, the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff's crimes were extraordinarily evil and that this kind of irresponsible manipulation of the system is not merely a bloodless financial crime that takes place just on paper, but it is instead ... one that takes a staggering human toll," US District Judge, Denny Chin said in sentencing Madoff.

Prosecutor Lisa Baroni said Madoff deserved a life sentence because he "stole ruthlessly and without remorse."

"He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values," said Tom Fitzmaurice. "He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife, Ruth, could live a life of luxury beyond belief."

Dominic Ambrosino called it an "indescribably heinous crime" and urged a long prison sentence so he "will know he is imprisoned in much the same way he imprisoned us and others."

The massive Ponzi scheme run by Madoff since at least the early 1990s demolished the life savings of thousands of people, wrecked charities and shook confidence in the U.S. financial system.

The actual loss so far has been put at $13.2 billion. But the judge said that was a conservative estimate and noted that even Madoff told his sons in December it was a $50 billion fraud.

The sentence reflected a growing tendency over the last decade to give white-collar criminals lengthy prison terms — although a handful of cases have received even longer terms. The outcome prompted scattered applause and whoops from a group of burned former clients in a packed Manhattan courtroom.

The judge noted that not one of the more than 100 letters he received supported Madoff or described any good deeds he had done.

"The absence of such support is telling," Chin said.

Chin announced the sentence with Madoff standing at the defense table, wearing a dark suit, a white shirt and a tie and looking thinner than he did at his last court appearance in March. He gave no noticeable reaction when the sentence was announced.

When asked by the judge whether he had anything to say, Madoff slowly stood, leaned forward on the defense table and spoke in a monotone for about 10 minutes. At various times, he referred to his monumental fraud as a "problem," "an error of judgment" and "a tragic mistake."

He claimed he and his wife were tormented, saying she "cries herself to sleep every night, knowing all the pain and suffering I have caused," he said. "That's something I live with, as well."

He then finally looked at the victims lining the first row of the gallery.

"I will turn and face you," he said mechanically. "I'm sorry. I know that doesn't help you."

Madoff's wife, Ruth Madoff — often a target of victims' scorn since her husband's arrest — broke her silence afterward by issuing a statement through her lawyer. She said she, too, had been misled.

"I am embarrassed and ashamed," she said. "Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years."

Madoff, who has been jailed since March, already has taken a severe financial hit: Last week, a judge issued a preliminary $171 billion forfeiture order stripping Madoff of all his personal property, including real estate, investments, and $80 million in assets his wife Ruth had claimed were hers. The order left her with $2.5 million that couldn't be tied to the fraud.

The terms require the Madoffs to sell a $7 million Manhattan apartment where Ruth Madoff still lives. An $11 million estate in Palm Beach, Fla., a $4 million home in Montauk and a $2.2 million boat will be put on the market as well.

Before Madoff became a symbol of Wall Street greed, he earned a reputation as a trusted money manager with a Midas touch. Even as the market fluctuated, clients of his secretive investment advisory business — from Florida retirees to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax — for decades enjoyed steady double-digit returns.

But late last year, Madoff made a dramatic confession: Authorities say he pulled his sons aside and told them it was "all just one big lie."

Madoff pleaded guilty in March to securities fraud and other charges, saying he was "deeply sorry and ashamed." He insisted that he acted alone, describing a separate wholesale stock-trading firm run by his sons and brother as honest and legitimate.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...