Bernard Madoff gets maximum 150 years in prison

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" Madoff (born April 29, 1938) is an American former financier and convicted felon. Madoff, who served as an non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, pled guilty to an 11-count criminal complaint, admitting to defrauding thousands of investors of billions of dollars and was convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme that has been called the largest investor fraud ever committed by a single person.[2][3] Federal prosecutors estimated client losses, which included fabricated gains, of almost $65 billion.[4] On June 29, 2009, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

Scattered applause and whoops broke out in the crowded Manhattan courtroom after U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued the maximum sentence to the 71-year-old defendant, who said he lives "in a tormented state now, knowing all the pain and suffering I've created."
Madoff has steadfastly refused to point the finger at anybody surrounding him. But few believe the 71-year-old financier could have spent two decades pulling off Wall Street's biggest scam without co-operation from others in the offices of Madoff Securities on the 17th floor of Manhattan's Lipstick building.

"It strains credulity to believe this man could have perpetrated this fraud single-handedly for so many years," said Jeff Zwerling, a New York lawyer representing Madoff clients. "The sheer volume of paperwork involved alone would render that practically impossible."
"It strains credulity to believe this man could have perpetrated this fraud single-handedly for so many years," said Jeff Zwerling, a New York lawyer representing Madoff clients. "The sheer volume of paperwork involved alone would render that practically impossible."
Madoff's sons, Andrew and Peter, have disassociated themselves with their father despite holding senior roles at Madoff Securities. Neither of them are on speaking terms with Madoff. The younger of the two, Andrew, recently got into a street brawl outside a Manhattan chicken take-away shop with a former colleague who accused him of involvement in the fraud.
Madoff's wife has been banned from her neighbourhood hair salon and from a favourite Italian restaurant. US officials have seized her seaside retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. Trailed by tabloid photographers on the New York subway this week, she snapped: "Are you having fun embarrassing me – and ruining my life?"

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