Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison

(AP) - Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was sentencedto 150 years in prison Monday for fraud so extensive that the judgesaid he needed to send a symbolic message to those who mightimitate his fraud and

News 12 Staff

Jun 30, 2009, 4:22 PM

Updated 5,493 days ago

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(AP) - Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was sentencedto 150 years in prison Monday for fraud so extensive that the judgesaid he needed to send a symbolic message to those who mightimitate his fraud and to victims who need relief.
Applause broke out in the crowded Manhattan courtroom after U.S.District Judge Denny Chin issued the maximum sentence to the71-year-old defendant, who said he sought no forgiveness and knewhe must live "with this pain, this torment, for the rest of mylife."
Chin rejected a request by Madoff's lawyer for leniency and saidhe disagreed that victims of the fraud were seeking mob vengeance.
"Here the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff's crimes wereextraordinarily evil and that this kind of manipulation of thesystem is not just a bloodless crime that takes place on paper, butone instead that takes a staggering toll," Chin said.
The judge said the estimate that Madoff has cost his victimsmore than $13 billion was conservative because it did not includemoney from feeder funds.
"Objectively speaking, the fraud here was staggering," hesaid.
Before Chin announced the sentence, Madoff, wearing a dark suit,white shirt and a tie, sat and listened as emotional witnessesdescribed how he spoiled their security.
"Life has been a living hell. It feels like the nightmare wecan't wake from," said Carla Hirshhorn.
"He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole fromthe in between. He had no values," said Tom Fitzmaurice. "Hecheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife Ruthcould 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 inmuch the same way he imprisoned us and others."
He added: "In a sense, I would like somebody in the court todayto tell me how long is my sentence."
"The sheer scale of the fraud calls for severe punishment,"the prosecutors wrote.
The jailed Madoff already has taken a severe financial hit: Lastweek, a judge issued a preliminary $171 billion forfeiture orderstripping Madoff of all his personal property, including realestate, investments, and $80 million in assets his wife Ruth hadclaimed were hers. The order left her with $2.5 million.
The terms require the Madoffs to sell a $7 million Manhattanapartment where Ruth Madoff still lives. An $11 million estate inPalm Beach, Fla., a $4 million home in Montauk and a $2.2 millionboat will be put on the market as well.


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