While his attorneys asked for just 12 years, Bernie Madoff, 71, has been sentenced to 150 years after expressing sorrow for the ruin that he brought to thousands of people — rich and poor — through his criminal enterprise.
During the hearing, victims spoke passionately about all that they had lost — some professionals turning to janitor and butcher jobs to survive while others selling homes to pay their debts. They were not subtle in their feelings. Victim Burt Ross told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin stated: “May Satan grow a fourth mouth where Madoff can spend the rest of eternity.”
Michael Schwartz spoke of how Madoff wiped out money that he had set aside for his mentally disabled brother.
Judge Chin put the damage at $13 billion.
In the meantime, Madoff’s wife will be allowed to keep $2.5 million to guarantee that she does not face the homeless prospects of many of their victims. It is still unclear why the sons or close associates have not been indicted. It is entirely ridiculous to think that Madoff carried out this massive fraud alone.
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Sentences of this length often make me think of the judge who sentences a middle aged man to 30 years only to have the defendant say “Judge, I am already 50, I can’t do that amount of time.” The judge looked down kindly upon the man and said, “That’s okay, just do as much as you can.” Bye, bye Bernie.