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Madoff Sentenced To Maximum 150 Years In Jail; Wife 'Betrayed, Ashamed'

UPDATED with full Ruth Madoff statement at 1:16 p.m.:

Confessed Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff, who swindled investors out of as much as $65 billion, was sentenced moments ago to the maximum allowable 150 years in jail.

U.S. Judge Denny Chin characterized the Madoff scheme as "staggering," CNBC is reporting.

Chin said that Madoff did not do all he could do to aid investigators to help them recover swindled money or tell all he knows.

Chin said Madoff paid himself at least $250 million according to tax returns. He added that "symbolism" is important in sentencing.

He added that he did not receive a single letter from Madoff's friends or family seeking leniency.

Chin recounted one letter that strongly affected him. It told the story of a Madoff investor who had died of a heart attack. Madoff, presumably at the man's funeral, put his arm around the the widow and said, "Your money is safe." The widow then gave Madoff more money, all of which is gone.

UPDATE: For her part, Madoff's wife, Ruth, released a statement shortly after the verdict, saying she feels “betrayed and confused” by her husband's Ponzi scheme.

Here is the entire text of the statement:

"I am breaking my silence now, because my reluctance to speak has been interpreted as indifference or lack of sympathy for the victims of my husband Bernie’s crime, which is exactly the opposite of the truth.

From the moment I learned from my husband that he had committed an enormous fraud, I have had two thoughts -- first, that so many people who trusted him would be ruined financially and emotionally, and second, that my life with the man I have known for over 50 years was over.

Many of my husband’s investors were my close friends and family. And in the days since December, I have read, with immense pain, the wrenching stories of people whose life savings have evaporated because of his crime.

My husband was the one we (and I include myself) respected and trusted with our lives and our livelihoods, often for many, many years, and who was respected in the securities industry as well. Then there is the other man who stunned us all with his confession and is responsible for this terrible situation in which so many now find themselves.

Lives have been upended and futures have been taken away. All those touched by this fraud feel betrayed; disbelieving the nightmare they woke to. I am embarrassed and ashamed. Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years.

In the end, to say that I feel devastated for the many whom my husband has destroyed is truly inadequate. Nothing I can say seems sufficient regarding the daily suffering that all those innocent people are enduring because of my husband. But if it matters to them at all, please know that not a day goes by when I don’t ache over the stories that I have heard and read."

Her statement effectively throws her husband under the bus in an attempt to spare herself from prosecution as a co-conspirator.

She said the first she heard of the Ponzi scheme was when her husband told her. She said her trust was betrayed along with everyone else's.

A judge stripped most of Ruth Madoff's $80 million in assets, leaving her with $2.5 million to live on.

This New York Times piece reports how Ruth Madoff has been shunned by everyone in New York -- including her hairdresser.

Prosecutors asked for as much as 150 years in jail for Madoff. His lawyer, Ira Sorkin, asked for leniency and a 12-year-sentence for the 71-year-old Madoff.

Madoff: 'I Thought I Could Get Out Of it'

11:21 a.m.: Madoff is now making his statement to the court and began by saying: "I cannot offer you an excuse for my behavior," CNBC is reporting.

He said, "I thought I could get out of it. The harder I tried to get out of it, the deeper the hole. I could not accept for once in my life I had failed. I was responsible for a great deal of suffering and pain. I am in torment....This is a horrible guilt to live with."

Then Madoff, who had had his back to nine of his victims in the court, turned to them and said, "I am sorry. I know that doesn't help you."

He said: "How can you excuse deceiving a wife of 50 years?...How do you excuse deceiving investors and 200 employees" and lying to his sons.

"I made a terrible mistake," Madoff said, adding that he "left a legacy of shame to my family and my grandchidren."

Madoff spoke for about nine minutes.

Madoff Lawyer: I Represent 'Deeply Flawed Character'

11:11 a.m.: Madoff lawyer Ira Sorkin told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin that he (Sorkin) represents a "deeply flawed character" who is nevertheless, "not a number, not a statistic," CNBC reports.

He reminded the judge that "vengeance is not a part of punishment."

Sorkin said the $65 billion loss quoted in the press is "simply not true" and said it's possible to get $13.2 billion back for investors.

Sorkin is asking for 12 years of Madoff. Prosecutors want 150 years.

Victim To Madoff: 'May God Spare You No Mercy'

10:39 a.m.: "Do not confuse Bernie Madoff's prepared statement with remorse," victim Tom Fitzmaurice told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, CNBC reports.

Fitzmaurice then turned to Madoff -- whose back is to his victims -- and said: "Madoff, your sons despise you, your marriage is one from hell. May God spare you no mercy."

Another victim alluded to Dante's "Inferno" and its three-headed devil, saying: "I hope Satan can grow a fourth mouth for Madoff."

Cripes.

Here are some more excerpts from victim statements delivered in court today, according to the Associated Press:

-- “I was introduced to Bernard Madoff 21 years ago at a business meeting. ... I now view that day as perhaps the unluckiest day of my life. ... This beast who I call Madoff. He walks among us. He dresses like us ... but underneath the facade is a true beast. ... He is an equal opportunity destroyer.” — Sheryl Weinstein.

-- “The man sitting in this courtroom robbed me. ... He discarded me like road kill. ... Forgiveness for now will have to come from someone other than me.” — Miriam Siegman.

-- “He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in-between. He had no values. ... His was a violent crime without the use of a tangible weapon. ... My life will never be the same. I am financially ruined and will worry every day about how I will take care of my wife.” — Tom Fitzmaurice.

-- “Life has been a living hell. It feels like the nightmare we can’t wake from.” — Carla Hirshhorn.

-- “Bernard Madoff should no longer be let back in society.” — Michael Schwartz.

Click here to read even more sentencing letters from Madoff victims.

Victim: I Had To Take Three Jobs After Madoff Swindled Me

10:26 a.m.: The second of the nine swindled victims who has to testify, widow Maureen Ebel, 61, just told the court that she lost her retirement savings and that she's working three jobs to pay the bills.

She then turned to Madoff -- who kept his back to her, CNBC reports -- and said: "Mr. Madoff, goodness is something you have been blind to your whole life. Goodness is better than all the yachts and homes you have. Mr. Madoff, I do not believe you."

The federal probation department recommends that Madoff get 50 years, Judge Denny Chin said, the Associated Press reports.

First Victim: 'We Did Nothing Wrong'

10:21 a.m.: One of the nine victims who has asked to testify, retired corrections officer Dominic Ambrosino, said he remembers the "exact moment" when he understood he lost his investments, thanks to Madoff's big swindle. The former c.o. wondered how he and his wife would pay his bills.

"We did nothing wrong," he said, according to CNBC.

The network reports that the victims are standing behind Madoff and he has maintained his back to them.

Judge To Madoff: I Will Impose 'Reasonable Sentence'

10:14 a.m.: U.S. District Judge Denny Chin told Madoff that would impose a "reasonable sentence," but did not tip his hand to what that would be. He noted that the most serious of the 11 criminal charges Madoff has confessed to carries a sentence of 20 years.

Madoff's victims will speak first, then Madoff lawyer Ira Sorkin, then Madoff and finally prosecutors have the last say.

Madoff Sentencing Set For Today

8:33 a.m.: Confessed multi-billion-dollar Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff will be sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan. Madoff faces up to 150 years in prison.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Madoff is expected to speak, and at least eight victims have asked to speak as well.

In March, Madoff confessed to 11 criminal charges, including money laundering and multiple counts of fraud. He told his sons in December that his firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC was a "giant Ponzi scheme" and told FBI agents that he “paid investors with money that wasn’t there.” Madoff is a former head of the NASDAQ.

Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, has asked the judge for a 12-year sentence for the 71-year-old Madoff, saying he deserves leniency for turning himself in, not fleeing the country(!) and cooperating with authorities.

But prosecutors don't think Madoff has cooperated enough. So far, only about $1.2 billion of the $65 billion in stolen money and inflated earnings have been recovered. Finding the rest -- there are about 1,300 identified defrauded Madoff victims -- may take years, and figuring out how to do it is the big mystery of the case.

As such, today's sentencing represents the best approximation of satisfaction most victims may feel in this case.

At least two suicides have been attributed to the Madoff scandal. Investors in Britain and France each took their lives after losing millions in Madoff's hands.

Below, I talk about Madoff's sentencing this morning on Washington's Fox affiliate, WTTG-5.

Pay no attention to my goof, about halfway through, when I confuse scandal-plagued South Carolina governor "Mark Sanford" with scandal-plagued billionaire investment manager "Allen Stanford," which is who I meant. Hey, it was live TV. If your browser does not support the video, click here to view it.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  June 29, 2009; 1:16 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff  
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Comments

This evil beast has robbed, ruined and devastated more innocent people than even Barney Frank.

Life in prison, with no chance for parole.

Posted by: fury60 | June 29, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

This guy is a devil and should never see light again. 50 years is just perfect. Check out GloomBoom.com for great insight on the economy.

Posted by: GloomBoomDotcom | June 29, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry for the people who lost their life savings to this bum, but some lessons can be learned #1 never put all your eggs in one basket #2 If it looks to good to be true, it is!The profits he was offering should have send up some red flags, greed is the root of all evil.

Posted by: rstull1949 | June 29, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

This idea of "live blogging" from in front of the TV is pathetic. "Live" is generally understood to mean that you are there. He gets 150 years -- did you happen to note that on TV, intrepid reporter?

Posted by: Dawny_Chambers | June 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

If Bush and Paulson had got their way Madoff would have got off scott free, under the Immunity Bush and Paulson wanted to include under the original blank check TARP request, which congress threw out and changed to the limited 800 billion TARP.

Now the Justice should go after the culprits in the multi Trillion dollar CDS Ponzi Scheme that brought America to Great Depressions II.

Posted by: walker1 | June 29, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If yard80197 had a brain, he'd be an idiot! Why doesn't the Post remove this ridiculous dreck?

Posted by: ajlerner1 | June 29, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Fury60:
The devastation this vermin has caused is too serious for your ham-handed, irrelevant and homophobic BS.

Try and stay focused.

Posted by: joebanks | June 29, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

He should have worried about getting out of it before he got in it. He never even tried to make it a success the honest way. He never bought one, NOT ONE, stock, all those years.

I have been swindled before by a similar type of guy. They are scum.

I bet you laughed at all those investors while you lived high on the hog.

150 years sounds right.


Don't drop the soap Madoff.

Posted by: DrWho2 | June 29, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments from yard80197 qualify as hate speech. They should be removed immediately from the site.

Posted by: savary | June 29, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

A bi-partisan blog that gives you all the information you need to make an educated decision to vote out corruption in congress. Links are provided so every candidate in 2010 can be reviewed as to their campaign contributors and their voting records. 88% of congress is up for re-election in 2010. This time, being an incumbent isn't a positive thing. "Beat The Drum" and help end corruption in congress!! http://italco.wordpress.com

Posted by: italco | June 29, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

So I suppose this SOB is going to a "Club Med" prison? He should have been sentenced to 150 years of hard labor with no parole.

Posted by: Honest_Abe | June 29, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

150 YEARS!!!??? Is that all?????

Posted by: demtse | June 29, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse


It seems he's still hiding money. By him specifically mentioning that he deceived his wife, makes it seem all the more likely the opposite is true, and that Madoff is going to continue to use his wife to hang on to the monty.

Greed is a horrible thing, but especially this type.

It seems to me like Burnie Madoff STILL thinks he can get out of this.

Posted by: moonbat23 | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Confessed Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff, who swindled investors out of as much as $65 billion, was sentenced moments ago to the maximum allowable 150 years in jail.U.S. Judge Denny Chin characterized the Madoff scheme as "staggering," CNBC is reporting.
Chin said that Madoff did not do all he could do to aid investigators to help them recover swindled money or tell all he knows.Chin said Madoff paid himself at least $250 million according to tax returns. He added that "symbolism" is important in sentencing. He added that he did not receive a single letter from Madoff's friends or family seeking leniency. Greed is at the root of this man's issues with God and He will only find peace with himself, his Creator with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It will not be dependent upon whether the people he has swindled forgive him or not the larger question is whether God can forgive him or not. The Bible tells us in Luke's Gospel of a Swindler by the name of Zacheaus a tax collector who was so affected by Christ's presence that he gave back multi-fold to those the had swindled. It seems too late for Madoff. Maybe, God will give him a chance at restitution. What shame he has brought to his family.

Posted by: wmaclean | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"You cannot cheat an honest man." A casual look at the Madoff scam would have told the least sophisticated investor -- "It looks too good to be true." Unusually high rates of return year in and year out for many, many years -- never a downturn. This could not possibly be a true and honest situation. I take no pleasure in the losses of Madoff's victims but it has to be said they thought they were getting something for nothing and were,in fact, playing fast and loose. Returns such as Madoff advertised never have and do not exist in the real world. "If it looks to good to be true then it is. Buyer beware."

David A. Jewell
Philadelphia

Posted by: dajewell | June 29, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

So Madoff has been Sentenced...
Nailing one man is supposed to make the destruction of the American Middle class feel better?
Millions have lost their homes their families
and we are OK with the lack of regulation and oversight that has led to to current recession? Ill tell you right now, there are dozens of Maddoffs out there. Some are most likely in congress from both sides of the aisle! This nation is no longer a democracy it is a plutocracy! One dawn dozenss to go! It wont happen, the democracy is dead!

Posted by: rubenlruiz | June 29, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

It is quite rare for a financier to be called to account for his actions. So a sentence of 150 years (or death, which ever occurs first) shows 1) the system can work, 2) the system worked in this case, 3) you have to be so blatant that a different option would have caused a public uproar. Bernie swindled "friends." The sense of betrayal is unbounded. Regular folks depend on our taxpayer-funded government to regulate those people who do the gardening of our wealth. The Bush-Cheney SEC was repeatedly told where to look and what to look for and did NOTHING, because Bernie was aces with the SEC. The whole bunch in charge of the SEC during that period should join Bernie in his 150 year quest for immortality.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | June 29, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The inmates are gonna put a wig on this guy when he arrives.

Posted by: millertek | June 29, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone care about the crooks in Congress who are stealing trillions from us with ponzi-scheme legislation like Cap and Trade? Or does anyone even care about what Fannie and Freddie has done to this country? Pull away from the Michael Jackson coverage and pay attention to your own damn country for a change! How does the tragic death of Michael Jackson get one a job.

Posted by: davescareer22 | June 29, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's see. If my math is right, and it usually is, Madoff gets 150 years for 65 billion.

Bush/Cheney should get just around 3000 years for the money they stole to pay for their war in Iraq. And that's not counting in the sentence for the number of people killed and maimed.

Cheez, I wish we would have some sort of drug for those 2 criminals to live that long.

Posted by: mackiejw | June 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The sentence of Bernie Madoff is really outrageous regardless of how many people fell for his scam. Judge Chin is obviously a "reactionary" seeking to gain favor with the mob. Madoff didn't kill anyone yet his sentence is substantially longer than those convicted of rape, murder and other violent crimes.
Many of the people who lost money in this huge scam didn't know that there money managers, hedge fund or other investment sources were stupid enough to invest money with Madoff. They should be filing suit against the brokers, hedge funds, etc. who negligently gave the money to Madoff.
Many of those who lost money were simply "smart" people who thought that they had "insider" advantages. They were careless with their money and greedy. "A fool and his money are soon parted".
Nevertheless, the sentence given to Madoff is excessive, reactionary and stupid. He should have been given a sentence without regards to the wishes of the mob. Perhaps if he had been given a fair sentence he could have helped the SEC learn how to prevent similar scams in the future.
The lawyers who advised him to plead guilty betrayed him. He should have forced the government to go through a very long trial. Now he will be teaching federal prisoners the secrets of how he scammed so many people. Shame on Judge Chin.

Posted by: jimeglrd8 | June 29, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

When I read the headline, my first thoughts were of Pigmeat Markham: "Life! You son-of-a-gun!"

(Here come the Judge, here come the Judge ...)

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 29, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

150 years is to good for this. He should be hung on Wall Street in public. We need a criminal justice system revamp to better equate the magnitude of so-called "white-collar" crime to armed crime. If is is about the result of the crime and not the MO, this is clear. How many people has he ruined? How long would an armed robber get? Clearly the system was rigged by lawyers and judges to protect them and their clients. I'm sure a lot of folks would be willing to help Badboy Bernie onto the podium. He is a disgrace to the human race and a pox on his family.

Posted by: brgberens | June 29, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Madoff could not do what he did (while deceiving his customers) if the SEC had protective procedures to prevent it, and the warning on the news is that "everyone is a potential Madoff victim" is absolutely true. Aside from the Madoff project of criminal prosecution, the "system" has been shown to be vulnerable to his ilk of imposter that is by far the most urgent of issues to prevent repetition and clones or quasi-clones - and that makes it everyone's business.

Posted by: pbr1 | June 29, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It is regrettable so many lost so much. Evidently none read investing 101 which states do not put all your eggs in one basket. Their greed of getting unrealistic returns led them down the primrose path.

Posted by: g8rrick | June 29, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

yard80197, you're an idiot (but I'm betting you already knew that). Do you have anything else stupid to say now that you were proven wrong?

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | June 29, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused? How does this crime stand the test of being "evil"? After all, it's only money. How does it compare to dropping bombs on innocent men-women and children, or torture of other human beings? I think the term ought to be used sparingly rather than thrown about by a bunch of greedy high-fliers trying to look stupid and playing the victim role. As long as the cash was rolling in Bernie was an "angel" and it's only when the faucet was turned off that he magically transformed into a devil.

Posted by: inewsmaster | June 29, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

150 years is about right.

It's a pity that the SEC didn't do anything before all the investors were diddled, though.

Posted by: apn3206 | June 29, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

How to be a Good Penthouse Keeper

Since first she was a blushing bride
Ruth has never left her Bernie’s side.
The couple appeared to be joined heart to heart
and were very seldom seen apart.

Where Bernie went Ruthie went too
joined together as if by crazy glue.
They dined alone in their favourite watering hole
where she was seen to feed him from her bowl.

Of Bernie’s firm she reconciled the accounts
but claims she never saw amounts.
All the former friends who now hate her
accuse her of being his facilitator.

No one can question she showed uncanny skill
as she acted as husband Bernie’s shill,
persuading people who are supposed to be bright
they would be raking in interests that were out of sight.

Bernie has admitted every single fraud
both in the U.S. and abroad.
His wife, however, unblushingly swears
she knew nothing whatsoever of his business affairs.

Those one would expect to have their feet on the ground
were among the eagerest to jump on Madoff’s merry-go-round
At Ruthie’s urging they brought in many a family member and friend
for returns they were told would never end.

Not known for any special gift
except knowing where to get the best face lift,
she was able, she says, to save seventy million from what her spouse
gave her as allowance to keep their New York penthouse.

How did she do it, everyone wants to know.
How did she make her fortune grow?
A claim with which very many will take issue
is that she bought the cheapest toilet tissue.

Did she cut coupons from the papers every Sunday
and redeem them at the supermarket every Monday?
Instead of imbibing a vintage Champaign
did they start drinking sparkling rose wine produced in Maine.

What no-one can deny is her keen intuition
when, like any sleight-of-hand magician
she was able to skim off millions of stolen cash
just before Bernard’s spectacular crash.

She wrote a cook book that never sold
so cannot use that to explain her gold.
Would she not do better by writing for would-be crooks
recipes about the best way to hide how they cook their books?

Posted by: phillinehan1 | June 29, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Reading about him in Vanity Fair, the guy struck me as nothing more than a small-time grifter who made it big -- he never really had control.

I am very sorry for those innocent investors who lost their money.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 29, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

He wont live 5 years. What they need to do is strip him of all assets (wife included) to pay back the victims. The wife is planning a lavish lifestyle with imprisoned hubby's money.

Posted by: Libertarian1 | June 29, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Why did Bush and Paulson want Madoff to get immunity under the original Tarp Proposal?

Posted by: walker1 | June 29, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

He only robbed people who had money and wanted more, more, more - so much so they gave him everything !
This sentence is crazy, it should be lighter than armed robbery, lighter than any sentence involving physical violence.
Hats off to an honest crook !

Posted by: nigelconnor | June 29, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

So much for equal protection under the law. The only reason that Bernie received such a harsh sentence was that he chose wealthy and connected people as his victims. If he'd stolen all that money from poor rural southerners, he'd probably be looking at a couple of years and probation thereafter.

It's really disgusting, and it's another symptom of where we're going as a country, when murderers and child rapists get lesser sentences than that meted out to someone who defrauded a bunch of wealthy people who should have known better (and some of whom certainly did).

Posted by: phredphive | June 29, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Judge Chin, according to the "Ticker" said :
"that he did not receive a single letter from Madoff's friends or family seeking leniency."
I wouldn't say that I am a "friend" or "family" member and I have never met Mr. Madoff but I sent the judge the following letter which, apparently, was lost in the mass of negative letters the Judge probably received. I also sent a copy of my letter to Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin.

Honorable Dennis Chin

U.S. District Court Judge

Southern District of New York

Foley Square

New York City, New York

Re: Sentencing of Bernard Madoff

Dear Judge Chin:

I am a retired lawyer now living in Beijing. Here in Beijing the sentencing of an offender, like Mr. Madoff, would be greatly impacted by political pressure and public opinion.

I hope that is not true regarding the sentencing of Mr. Madoff. Although I worked in the Wall Street area during the early 1970’s I have never met Mr. Madoff and have no connection with him, his family or his lawyers. I do have some friends who lost money through various hedge funds who invested money through Mr. Madoff.

The fact that many people lost money through Mr. Madoff should not prevent you from sentencing him without regard to the public outcry. Mr. Madoff, at his age, has already suffered greatly. His family has also suffered.

Mr. Madoff didn’t commit a crime of violence and his sentence should take that into account.

I don’t know what the sentencing range is in his case or if his PSI will be affected by public pressure but I think your sentence should ignore any public or political pressure.

Good Luck in doing so.

Posted by: jimeglrd8 | June 29, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

150 year sentence means, absent an effective appeal, that Bernie Madoff will never see the light of day again. It occurs to me that the fact the man pled guilty, rather than fight this out, suggests that he already knows his time is limited, which means his punishment will be as well. As a practicing Jew, I assume he believes that everything ends for him when he stops breathing.

Fair enough. This doesn't extend to his family, which pretty obviously has enriched itself (children and wife) thru what started out as his misdeeds, but in which they either wholeheartedly participated, or with knowledge of guilt, profited.

Therefore, I urge the government, whatever part of it that actually works--presumably not including those who investigated him at least a dozen times previously and let him go--get after the entire extended family, and find a way to indict and try them all.

They participated in the looting of America, and that was the least of their sins, for by their continued opulent lifestyle, and by the fact that absolutely NOTHING (so far) bad has happened to them, the encourage the felonious others among us, the quick buck artists, the liars, cheats, and thieves, to believe that THEY CAN GET AWAY with it, too.

Indict. Try and convict. Strip the entire family, right down to the grandchildren and great grandchildren, of every single penny. Make the family name SO SHAMEFUL that those bearing it will be forced into court to change it. And make sure that they pay every penny back.

It's the only way to put a stop to this.

Posted by: Va_Lady2008 | June 29, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

... and Ruth gets to keep 100% of the hidden assets.

Posted by: whocares666 | June 29, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The time sentence is irrelevant. He did harm to many people by stealing from them. He needs to give them their money back.

Posted by: bucinka8 | June 29, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

So, when Bernie Madoff takes money from later investors and gives it to earlier, it's illegal and called a Ponzi scheme. But when the government does it, its called Social Security. I fail to see the distinction, and if Madoff is being punished, so should those in charge of the SS system!

Posted by: keeb333 | June 29, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I just can't understand how a poor old man can manage to swindle so many thousands of people by himself, especially if his wife, brother and two sons were constantly with him for so many years, and right next to him.Had they known--or even suspected, they would have gone to the authorities or at least consulted with the tooth fairy.

Posted by: jsparilli | June 29, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's see now, how many billions are unaccounted for, that he and his family have stashed away...and with what that will buy in this world provided that they are no longer in dollars which as smart as Madoff is, I am sure he has that wealth changed to something other...I would bet a now soon to be worthless dollar against a soon to be worth more doughnut, that Madoff will die at home in luxury with his bagels and lox and indoor swimming pool...and that his sons will live one hell the good life with that stashed wealth, and will provide wealth and the good life of luxury and privilege for themselves and thier families and thier families and thier families and their families and....

Posted by: 123Njord | June 29, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The world is full of deep pain, suffering, and death for humans and animals alike - much of it unnecessary - and none of it elicits 1/10th the emotional intensity and moral indignation from Americans as a bunch of prosperous fools getting burned by a get rich quick scheme. Again, no one has much to say as lotteries, slots, casinos, and all forms of legal betting exploit the greed of the gambling addicted and the working poor, but everyone screams bloody murder when the greed of investors is exploited by a con-man... says more than we ever wanted to know about ourselves.

Posted by: Pheidole | June 29, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Why did Bush Paulson want to give Madoff and his ilk immunity under the TARP?

Posted by: walker1 | June 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Madoff and his crooked family lived like kings for years--now the money they stole is all gone, they've ruined the lives of thousands and "they are sorry." Great!! One magic word and everything's OK! The feds need to prosecute the wife, the sons, the relatives, and everyone associated with any of these corrupt and obviously guilty "feeder funds" that knew or should have known of the fraud.

Posted by: Socialistic | June 29, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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