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Bernie Madoff May Be Copping Plea

Reports are coming at this moment that Bernie Madoff, who authorities said confessed to running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, may be preparing to take a plea deal.

Madoff, who allegedly bilked investors out of untold billions in his bogus investment scheme, is likely facing the rest of his life in jail.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York have filed a motion saying that Madoff is ready to waive an indictment.

Translation: This language typically means that a suspect is ready to make a deal. Madoff's lawyer has been negotiating with federal authorities for the past several weeks.

Click here to watch some video of Madoff.

Also, the Associated Press is reporting today that a "growing number of people involved in the case" believe that the amount Madoff bilked from investors could be just as fictitious as his investment fund turned out to be.

The $50 billion number came from Madoff himself -- Red Flag No. 1 -- when he confessed the scam.

But now that federal investigators are digging into his defunct fund are finding the number may be closer to $20 billion, the AP reports. Or perhaps never even knowable at all.

The court-appointed trustee has recovered about $900 million so far for burned Madoff investors.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  March 6, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff  
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...and all of Earth Americas knows that Madoff will get the best justice that money can buy...

Posted by: moon-base-alpha | March 6, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Madoff may spend the rest of his life in jail but what about his wife and kids who prospered royally from his crime. Will they still live the life of luxury because they are "innocent" spouses/children? BULL---T!! Why should they be allowed to keep millions of other people's money? What money did they have/make without the ponzi?

Posted by: vduny | March 6, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Plea deal?

Scum like this needs to be dragged out of his manhattan penthouse by the collar and shot in the back of the head in public for all to see. See if that won't deter others madoff wannabe's.

In financial circles, he's privately considered a genius for pulling off a scam of such magnitude. In a thick-as-thieves wall st world, he is a legend. None would admit that publicly.

Plea deal my rump.

Posted by: jfern03 | March 6, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

i am sure he is still considered a hero to some. i am amazed that money can do this to people. I hope that my belief in sansara is going to bring me back as a golden retreiver. michael

Posted by: coolgolf | March 6, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Madoff needs to straight to jail, and have every cent that he has and that can be found returned to those that he cheated. He is a common thug.

Posted by: bullmountaininc | March 6, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

This deal stinks to high heaven. What part did the Israelis have in it, I wonder?

Posted by: Blue_Moose | March 6, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

This man shouldn't be given a plea deal or any other deal ... He deserves the exact same fate as a few of his devastated investors ... A bullet.

Every dime of his wealth, every dime he has hidden with family and friends, every dime concealed in foreign accounts, every asset, every cup, every saucer, every shoe anyone in his family owns should be confiscated, sold, and the money redistributed to the people who's lives he ruined.

Madoff is a criminal. His wife is a criminal. Every politician, every beuraucrat, and every businessman complicit in this decade-long scam deserves to be executed.

Plea deal ... f-you.

Posted by: burtonpaul | March 6, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Anything short of Madoff Pleading for the Mercy of God before the Judge allows the victims to Stomp his guts out in Time Square on Pay Per View with proceeds going to the victims would be a gross miscarriage of justice.

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | March 6, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Madoff will cut a deal and get 5-10 years.It will be front page news.After serving 18 months in a country club prison he will be released.This will be on the bottom of page 37 of the newspaper.He will then live the life of a king off the money she skimmed.SOS.

Posted by: jellyhouse56 | March 6, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully he'll pay it back...Oh wait he spent it all. This man has taken so much money from the Rich that were able to donate money to non-profits, especially in the Jewish community, and now the places are lagging. What a disgusting and greedy human being.

Posted by: cboygivult1 | March 6, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Criminals know about other criminals. If he makes a deal, what are prosecutors getting at? Who is their target? The Madoff deal could be a linchpin to a rounding up of all the fake traders of bundled wild-aXX-guess American dreams.

Posted by: Meepo | March 6, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Scum like this needs to be dragged out of his manhattan penthouse by the collar and shot in the back of the head in public for all to see."

Mr. Madoff deserves to spend the rest of his days in jail and serious efforts need to be made to track down and seize as much money as possible for restitution to the victims of his crime. However, if summary execution is your understanding of justice I would suggest moving to a county more in line with your moral bearing. China, Iran and North Korea come to mind.

Posted by: steve-o1 | March 6, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Blue Moose

You are a piece of crap! Israel lost money by investing with Madoff as did numberous other countries, small businesses and non profit organizations. To imply that Israel is the root of this is absolutely ludacris and I'ld enjoy punching your lights out right about now.

Maybe you and Bernie can hook up sometimes, it seems you have the same scummy ideals and lack of moral fiber.

Posted by: Elatker1 | March 6, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: LLCMARGIN | March 6, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Plea deal? Translation: he gets off without doing time and he keeps the money he bilked from his investors.

Posted by: Diogenes | March 6, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's what confuses me. How on earth does Madoff have ANY leverage whatsoever here? What is the downside of putting this evil man on trial instead of letting him cop to a lesser charge? I mean, it's not like anyone would have any trouble making a case against this guy.

This is the central mystery of this case: WHY IS MADOFF BEING TREATED WITH KID GLOVES? First house arrest, now he cops a plea, and do his wife and kids get to keep the $100 million? What in heaven's name is going on here?

Posted by: jerkhoff | March 6, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"Scum like this needs to be dragged out of his manhattan penthouse by the collar and shot in the back of the head in public for all to see."

Mr. Madoff deserves to spend the rest of his days in jail and serious efforts need to be made to track down and seize as much money as possible for restitution to the victims of his crime. However, if summary execution is your understanding of justice I would suggest moving to a county more in line with your moral bearing. China, Iran and North Korea come to mind.

-You left out Texas

Posted by: theobserver4 | March 6, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

So it goes in America. Steal a car, go to jail. Steal millions, if not billions, of $$, and get a plea bargain. "Justice" is for sale here. In fact, Congress should change the "Justice Department" to the "Legal Department", because "justice" rarely happens in this country.

Posted by: mark_eley | March 6, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

In my best Jim Mora voice, "Plea Deal!?"

There is 1 reason, and 1 reason only that lowlife Bernie gets a plea-deal, *IF* he has the goods on some other major players on Wall St. Barring, that, he gets nothing but life in Jail.

I really hope this is not a case of lazy prosecutors (ala SEC).

Posted by: scoob1900 | March 6, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Madoff should be put into a very small cell with a very large cell mate named Bubba. He will make Bubba a great b1tch for the rest of his life. Bubba should pimp him out so everyone in prison gets a share.

Posted by: qballgeek | March 6, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"You are a piece of crap! Israel lost money by investing with Madoff as did numberous other countries, small businesses and non profit organizations. To imply that Israel is the root of this is absolutely ludacris and I'ld enjoy punching your lights out right about now.

Maybe you and Bernie can hook up sometimes, it seems you have the same scummy ideals and lack of moral fiber.

Posted by: Elatker1 | March 6, 2009 12:58 PM "

Well, Israel did spend years trying to get an American spy working for the Israelis out of jail... I don't think they're involved with Madoff, but it wouldn't surprise me. Israel as a whole is definitely not on the up and up.

Posted by: mark_eley | March 6, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!

Bernie and his wife should go to jail TODAY. They should also forfeit ALL assets to a liquidator - TODAY. END.

Simple solution - no issues.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | March 6, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Any plea deal that doesn't include cutting Madoff's balls off, stuffing them in his mouth, a set of concrete boots and the bottom of the East River should be rejected by the Prosecution.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | March 6, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

If this A**H*** gets any kind of deal, we need to take to the streets!! How much longer are common citizens going to get screwed over and lay down and take it!!

I don't think the 90 year old gentlemen in the news that lost his approx. 700k retirement appreciates the special treatment this crook is getting from his legal cronies!

Posted by: RaleighNC1 | March 6, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Madoff involved so many wealthy individuals, people that are supposed to be smarter than the rest of us, don't want a trial and he knows it. Otherwise dirt comes spilling out and ruins everyone's day. We might realize those "Market Smart" people are no different than monkeys throwing darts at the Wall Street Journal to pick stocks.

Posted by: wolfram21121 | March 6, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: eprocker | March 6, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they can get him to agree to pleading guilty but let him keep the money and be restricted to home unless he wears a tracking device in exchange for learning how he did what he did. That would teach him, wouldn't it.

Posted by: Dungarees | March 6, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The only thing they should be negotiating here is whether he gets a private cell or some roomates from the "Felony" category.

Why should his family live in prosperity while those he bilked out of billions struggle?

If he's a really good boy maybe they won't post his address on the internet.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 6, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Don't fret: Bernie's going to jail for a long, long time. What angers me is that his wife, the lovely Ruthie, will live out her days with millions and millions the two of them managed to stash away somewhere deep in the bowels of Zurich. And, God knows how much cash is simply buried under some floorboard in the house of a relative. Believe me, Bernie Madoff would not forget to have an exit strategy.

Posted by: jamesisrael77 | March 6, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Such a deal he should take.

Posted by: whocares666 | March 6, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it all "Poison fruit from the poison tree"? Therefore everything Bernie has given to his wife, children & others is ripe for picking by the legions whom he robbed. And when hell freezes over...

Posted by: PatriciaCulverCity | March 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It's funny that he was fluffing up his theft just like he and the Beardstown Ladies fluffed up their performance in the first place, he forgot to separate out the fake reinvestments.

Posted by: HardyW | March 6, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Here is more information on the potential plea deal:

Posted by: muckraker462 | March 6, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bernie you need a haircut, can you aford it ?

Posted by: REDSOX08 | March 6, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The day you lot understand who runs America, then perhaps you might also start to understand why the likes of Madoff are treated with kid gloves, connect the dots people just connect the dots.

Posted by: donbrizio | March 6, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

He should be stripped of all his money and possessions, forced to live on social security, and have his life put on TV as a reality show.

Posted by: newrussianguy | March 6, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Plea deal, typical. No wonder our country is falling down around us. He should have no rights whatsoever. His lawyer is as big of a crook, not to mention his wife. I think it's disgusting and unfortunately the way our system works, he will be just fine.

Posted by: rgentile | March 6, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Visit a few U.S. prisons and talk to some of the prisoners serving time for larceny. How many do you think came close to swindling or otherwise taking the value Bernie Madoff is accused of bilking investors out of? None, I guarantee you, none! And yet they are serving prison time. Bernie Madoff should not get a reduction of prison sentence that would allow him to leave prison, period. The amount of money involved does matter.

Posted by: Ohwell3 | March 6, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

There should be no deal that does not include extensive jail time and forfeiture of all of his family assets, the proceeds of which should be returned to those whom he cheated.

Posted by: AWWNats | March 6, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The level of ignorance and bigotry here is truly unbelievable. The mere use of the word "plea deal" does not mean he's not going to jail -- it only means he's not going to trial.

And Israel had nothing to do with it. Many of Madoff's victims were Jewish charities.

Posted by: fmjk | March 6, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

life? thats too much, he didnt kill anyone. everyone deserves a second chance. He should get 20 max. poor guy.

Posted by: tony28 | March 6, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

He's an old man. What's the worst we can do to him?

Cases like this almost make me want to hold children and grandchildren responsible for the crimes of their ancestors. (Not quite, though.) But at least make sure you take away their assets -- anything Madoff directly gave them should go. They still get to keep their privileged upbringing, top-dollar education, and elite connections.

Posted by: dmm1 | March 6, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

As usual they are going to let his wife and family keep portions of the wealth he amassed. Even when you steal from the rich, wealth still wins in our court system. if there were ever a case to make an example of someone this man should be jailed and all his assets should be liquidated. Wasn't it reported that he did not even invest or purchase stocks in the last 5 or 10 years. this guy is a fundamental crook.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 6, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Plea deal! What the f***! Let him plead for bread and water from solitary confinement. Turn the evidence over to a group a grad students with computer savy and let them track the money. I guess there are too many idiots in the SEC and Justice left over from the Bush years to prosecute a jaywalker.

Posted by: Byrd3 | March 6, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

A friend of our family is a carpenter in New York. The local for his nationally based Carpenter's union had Madoff funds in their pension portfolio.

While our friend was smart enough to diversify his retirement benefits, the largest annuity he had - the one with his Carpenter Union - is gone. The value of almost 40 years of working with his hands and scrimping and saving and being an honest to god craftsman who built tangible, useful things has disappeared.

It appears that if he and his wife sell their nice home - that includes his wonderful two-story workshop/garage - they should be able to retire more modestly than they had intended to (it was an already modest retirement that was going to include retiring in that house). They may do a reverse mortgage, but they aren't sure with the economy in this state if they can. But really, they had wanted to pass the house to their son - also a carpenter - paid for. That long and careful planning they did is blown.

I hope the Madoff family enjoys their ill-gained lucre while Mr. Madoff goes to jail. There are so many people who have actual worth of so much more that you have f***'d over, it's truly blood money that you are enjoying.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 6, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

We are all taught as children to respect our elders, meaning everybody who is older and/or richer and/or more powerful than we. Then, as Exhibit A, we get the Bernie Madoffs of the world, who demonstrate that some of those in Authority merely exist to amuse themselves as others squirm. Ha ha. Bernie tricked widows, orphans, and charities into giving him their money. Such a play actor! A pillar of Wall Street. Where did the money go? Does anybody believe Bernie kept careful records? Nobody insisted that he keep careful records.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | March 6, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope that his "plea deal" does not include him keeping any money more than his Social Security benefits (only if he paid into it of course)and Medicare benefits. He deserves nothing more.

Posted by: julieo | March 6, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Of any private citizen Madoff is the biggest thief in the history of our country, at least to the best of my knowledge--and this guy is going to get a plea bargain!? What about the people languishing in prison for stealing less than 1% of 1% of what Madoff stole? While out on bail, he was caught sending assets to his relatives. Right there he should have had his bail revoked and be returned to jail. This guy should never see the outside of a prison for the rest of his life and all his assets should be seized and sold to return as much money as possible to the people he stole from. When are the people in this country going to wake up to the fact that we are being ripped-off constantly by the megarich? That the law is for sale?!

Posted by: parkerjere | March 6, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Step One: Follow the money - just like in the days of Watergate. Don't accept a plea deal until ti final accounting has been made.

Step Two: The wife. She's trying to hold onto "her" assets. If Step One finds any part of any of "her" assets come from the scam then put the cuffs on her and take her to court.

Of course it may be to our advantage to have a short period of time where anyone receiving money or other assets to report them to the government without going to jail. That includes friends and family members.

Posted by: KHMJr | March 6, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

he only cheated people out of $20 billion?

shoot. what's the big fuss?

Posted by: gompa | March 6, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Allowing this swine to make a deal is sending the wrong signal at exactly the wrong time. Most of us actually work for a living... or we used to and lost our jobs because of some monster like Madoff or Bill Gate or any one of a number of other corporate traitors. This SOB needs to *die* for his crimes. Wall Street criminals that steal people's life savings, reck their lives, leaving them homeless, without food for themselves or their families, without medical care, without hope, are as bad as the worst murder or pedophile, as bad as an Al Qaeda terrorist and most of us have the common sense to understand that. A plea deal is simply sending us the message that laws and decency only applies to us, not to the wealthy or connected. Unless Madoff is tried and executed or sent to serve hard time in a prison, the government is courting a revolution.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 6, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey Blue Moose

You are a piece of crap! Israel lost money by investing with Madoff as did numerous other countries, small businesses and non profit organizations. To imply that Israel is the root of this is absolutely ludacris and I'ld enjoy punching your lights out right about now.

Maybe you and Bernie can hook up sometimes, it seems you have the same scummy ideals and lack of moral fiber.

Posted by: Elatker1
jsbar says:

If I were you Elatker1, I would not let your alligator mouth overload your tweety bird @ss.
You will have a lot more than just Blue Moose to worry about when you try to "punch his lights out" when it comes to whether Israel profited from Madoff.

How come Israel's economy's not in the tank like ours is? Could it be that Israel has has been profiting from Wall Street's criminal activity along with the crooks like Madoff.
Even money says Madoff will make his plea bargain, get a light or suspended sentence and move to Israel.

We suckers, the US taxpayer will reimburse all of Madoff's defrauded Jewish investors and the 50 billion he scammed out of them will simply will have evaporated (into Israeli banks).

No wonder their economy is so healthy. I wonder how much of the Wall Street billions of losses ended up in Israeli banks?

Now Obama wants to give an additional $30 billion gift to Israel with no strings attached, in addition to the billions in foreign aid they already get. Where does this end?

We can't afford you guys anymore!

Posted by: jsbar | March 6, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

At this point you can only hope that "Bubba" teaches him how to really take it in the @$$.....

Posted by: GreyGhost | March 6, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Nothing short of 20 years and forfeiture of all family assets and a $50 billion restitution order will do.

Posted by: AmericanLiberalElite | March 6, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

i say put the scum sucker in general population at san quentin.

chances are there be a prisoner at that facility who has a family that got SCREWED over by madoff.

and then, i would just hope the guard in the tower looks the other way.

there is no sense in all by giving this b@stard a plea deal. none whatsoever.. unless of course, the public officials involved are now on the take.. and when you are talking money like this.. i'm sure that is very likely.

elected officials are no better then criminals.. they are all scum.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 6, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

he better hope he goes to jail because i'm sure he will be much safer than out in the public eye. maybe somebody can hire a mossad agent to take care of him!!

Posted by: astroman215aolcom | March 6, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

What's the dollar limit that converts embezzlement to a felony? Somewhere between $1000 and $2500?

So a low level employee that steals $2500 can potentially go to jail for a year. How long does someone who steals $50 billion?

Society will be lucky if his wife doesn't get to keep the money.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 6, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

We certainly don't want any money that could go to victims to be wasted on lawyers.

Posted by: cuteasashark | March 6, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The only plea deal I want to see if for the color of the rope. Make it symbolically green. He's ruined hundreds if not thousands of lives.

Hang this criminal in public!

Posted by: gce65 | March 6, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

One things for sure, If I were to swindle someone out of money, even $500.00, and then admit to the crime, they wouldn't even consider a plea deal with me. Or you for that matter. Has he bought everybody out? How does his old lady get to keep 60 million bucks and the penthouse?
What do his kids get to keep?
What a bunch of Bovine Feces!

How do the prosecutors sleep at night?
Why does his lawyer get to negotiate for anything?
It's not like Madoff's in a strong bargaining position, is it? Why does justice work so much differently for him?

Posted by: realneil | March 6, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Simple. He goes to jail. All of his possessions get spread out on the lawn for his shareholders to take. His wife and relatives and cohorts have to watch as all his ill-gotten stuff gets taken away. All THEIR stuff given to them by him gets the same treatment the next day. Done and done.

Posted by: steveboyington | March 6, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

What the surprise...Enron economy with a Scooter Libby Justice System.

Posted by: swampsterman | March 6, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Madoff's wife and children had to be in on this fraud for a long time and should be indicted also. But, they'll get some deal where they keep a few hundred million of the fraud proceeds and live a life of luxury in the Cayman Islands, while all their victims are broke.

Posted by: Socialistic | March 6, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Schumer did not support - until lately - more regulation and oversight of the financial community. He was their "darling" attending frequent meetings with high rollers. High rollers from investment banks and brokerage houses would not do business with Madoff as it was common knowledge that he was not placing trades and that his returns were unrealistic. No one told Schumer???....doubtful.....

Posted by: josephfranklyn | March 6, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse


From New York to Geneva, corruption is rampant and complex on Wall Street, including the process of accumulation of this much cash. In Madoff’s own words? ……

MADOFF and his METHODS are not so unique.

Posted by: JamesRaider | March 6, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Bernie will get his due when he gets to prison and becomes someones boyfriend. While I feel sorry for the investors, especially the charitable foundations, a lot of people let greed cloud their good judgement.

Posted by: hayman1 | March 6, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Medical Marijuana users get in more trouble with the Feds then Madoff, and they are just trying to ease cancer pain, or HIV pain. Go figure, there is NO justice, clearly, if someone does not "get shorty".

Posted by: mzbond | March 6, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I think Ponzi was Jewish, not Italian!

Posted by: mzbond | March 6, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, that right, Ponzi's real name was Ponzistein.

Posted by: mzbond | March 6, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

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