Bernard Madoff To Plead Guilty to 11 Counts and Face 150 Years in Prison

gavel2Bernard Madoff will plead guilty this week to 11 counts, including money laundering, perjury and securities, mail and wire fraud. He would face 150 years. Prosecutors insist that there is no deal. Indeed, this may be a plea given in the absence of any cognizable defense.

At 70, Madoff is likely to get an effective life sentence regardless of the actual years imposed.

His $50 billion dollar pyramid or Ponzi scheme is now believed to have injured three million people and institutions. The initial proceedings raised an interesting question of a conflict of interest. His lawyer, Ira Sorkin and his family invested more than $900,000 with Madoff. That makes him a potential witness. Indeed, if he did not lose money, his treatment by Madoff and his family could be evidence of disparate treatment given favored parties.

There are two questions outstanding. First, there is the question of whether Judge Denny Chin will order him straight into custody. Normally, when you plead, the court will allow you a few weeks before sentencing to get your matters in order. In this case, the court may find Madoff unworthy of such a gesture. There is also the risk that he might flee or take his life.

Second, there is the Madoff kids. That was the primary concern given the clear guilt and tremendous damage done by Madoff. There is a general view that Madoff lied when he said that his sons did not know and that they turned him in after allegedly confessing to the illegal conduct. The illegality was so extensive, it is hard to believe that his family was in the dark. The question is now whether Madoff’s son and other family members will be charged.

For the full article, click here.

31 thoughts on “Bernard Madoff To Plead Guilty to 11 Counts and Face 150 Years in Prison”

  1. Can you imagine if, just once, they opened up all bank accounts. Sort of a one time only housecleaning. Think of what they’d find…everything from the profits of the Holocaust to the nest eggs of third world dictators. I wonder how many of the problems of the world could be solved by just a one time airing of the banks around the world that only exist to hide and shelter the profits of the unscrupulous? One more thing Obama can add to his list of all the wrongs that need to be righted.

  2. Mike – Despite what Madoff said in court, prosecutors claimed in Count 1 that he’s been running this scam since the 1980’s, which, if accurate, predates both Clinton and Bush.

    I think there’s a lot more to this story we have yet to hear, including why the SEC when they did investigate him recently, didn’t find anything. His lawyer ‘Ike’ Sorkin used to head the NY office of the SEC around the time he and Madoff first met
    -in the 1980’s. Which is also when Madoff was chair of NASDAQ!

    From everything I have have been able to glean about this man,
    he is a certifiable ‘evil genius’. What kind of person would you have to be to rip off holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel?
    The Devil, himself, I’d say.

  3. Chicago,

    I think your point about the SEC adding to his credibilty cannot be denied. If the govt. really wanted to they could take advantage of the world banking secrecy law update and find the money which, without a doubt, is there.

  4. I agree that all monies should be refunded for the simple reason that Uncle Sam failed in even the most basic of ways to protect investors from such an obvious scam. When the SEC refused to act on the warnings of whistleblower, Harry Markopolos, they in fact added to Madoff’s credibility. If we can’t trust our government to do right by us, who do we trust? OK, ignore the last question, I’ve known the answer since college. We trust only ourselves.

  5. chicAgo,

    Great question. The IRS is its own sub government, that’s the hitch.
    A federal tax refund to all Madoff investors would be fine by me.

  6. chicago,

    Therein lies a real tax boondoggle. Given that the SEC was abjectly inept, the victims deserve all the leniency the government can afford.

  7. It will be interesting to see how far the government will go to protect Madoff’s victims. The IRS and state revenue departments collected a boat load of money on the capital gains people thought they had made. Will the money be returned? Should it be?

  8. …” but if a man of his sophistication could be fooled, it is a symptom of how Bush, with an assist from Clinton has unraveled the structure set up to protect us from con men posing as financial wizards. While I feel compassion for this acquaintance and truly wish him well, I know him well enough to know he will come through this…”

    Huh…? Hellooooo…,

  9. I’m actually acquainted with one of Madoff’s victims. A brilliant person who worked his way to wealth from a youth of having little. He is not only one of the smartest men I know, but one of the most decent. A wealthy man who has remained a lifelong Democrat and Liberal and who hasn’t forgotten his own humble origins. I highly doubt that his investment with Madoff has him poverty stricken, but if a man of his sophistication could be fooled, it is a symptom of how Bush, with an assist from Clinton has unraveled the structure set up to protect us from con men posing as financial wizards. While I feel compassion for this acquaintance and truly wish him well, I know him well enough to know he will come through this.

    When I think though, of the millions of families pushed into poverty by by job loss, phony mortgage schemes and the hard sell of overpriced credit, my empathy expands to rage against the thieves who have engineered this and will probably escape any serious consequences, with their ill-gotten gains intact.
    They are human pigs feeding at the trough of their fellow citizens blood, without any motivation save ego and selfishness. I want to see Madoff punished severely, but I don’t want these others to escape. Madoff preyed on the haves and yet deserves punishment fitting the crime. It is to my mind a far worse crime that has been committed upon those least able to defend themselves. Retribution of the sort that will give others pause to play these vile games is required if we are ever to become the society we pretend to be.

  10. LindyLou 1, March 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Based on what you wrote, I’d say you and I are more often on the same wave length than you and Jill have eve been!

    And don’t sell yourself short in the ‘Articulate Department’, either.

    In earnest, I appreciate what you say mostly, except for the part about Jill being ‘awesome’.

    I disagree… 😛

    My issues with her are related to the fact that she is in competition with me first, almost daily, and in a pathologically passive-aggressive manner and has been for almost a year
    – not the other way around. Sorry.

    AND in so being disrupts this blog at the expense of all turlees.

    In my view, Jill is a inarticulate ‘potty mouth’ and a Christian/religious hater as evidenced by her recent irreverent declaration to hold a plastic baby Jesus wrapped in swaddlng clothes and shoot ‘pee’ onto crowds of protesters against free religious expression at Christmas time this past year.

    I am not a practicing Catholic in the true sense any longer, but some of my best religious memories in childhood are of Christmas Eve – cutting a tree, carrying it home and decorating it, Midnight Mass, our displaying of traditional antique family heirlooms, and of the live nativity scene because the animals used, a mule, a cow, and two sheep, were kept in our barn every year next to the church.

    Needless to say, as a child and early animal lover, I loved it!

    I resent similar aspersions cast by Jill, regularly, because so often, as I’ve stated, she simply does not know what she is talking about.

    And apparently, she doesn’t care either.

    Ignoring me, an original turlee, and my contributions to this blog while stealing my contributions and attributing them to herself pretty much defines who she is, don’t you think?

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