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Madoff To Be One More Aging White-Collar Con

POSTED: 04:22 PM ET, 03/12/2009 by Derek Kravitz

When Bernard L. Madoff is sentenced in connection with the massive Ponzi scheme he orchestrated, which he pleaded guilty to today, the 70-year-old former financier will join a growing list of aging white-collar criminals who can expect to spend much or all of their remaining days in federal prison.

There's Bernard Ebbers, former chief executive of WorldCom Inc., who was convicted in 2005 of security fraud and conspiracy charges after his firm misstated some $11 billion worth of accounts.

Ebbers, who was once dubbed the "Telecom Cowboy" for his flamboyant, Western-themed style, stayed out of prison until he lost an appeal in September 2006. The Canadian-born Ebbers, 67, is now incarcerated at the federal prison in Oakdale, La., where he is serving a 25-year sentence. He isn't due to be released until July 2028.

Likewise, John Rigas, the former chief executive and founder of Adelphia Communication Corp., once one of the nation's largest cable companies, was convicted in 2004 on several charges, including securities and bank fraud.

Rigas, 84, the son of Greek immigrants, was sentenced to 12 years and is now imprisoned at the federal facility in Butner, N.C. He is scheduled to be released in January 2018. (His son, Timothy J. Rigas, the firm's former chief financial officer, was convicted of the same charges and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Rigas, 52, was also indicted on tax evasion charges in 2008.)

And Jeffrey Skilling, the ex-chief executive of Enron Corp., was originally charged in 2004 with 35 counts of fraud, insider trading and other crimes after the Houston-based energy firm collapsed. His case went to trial, where he was found guilty of 19 felonies.

Skilling, 55, was sentenced in 2006 to more than 24 years in prison. A brash, Harvard-educated businessman known by ex-employees by his erratic temperament, Skilling later told The Wall Street Journal that he stupidly helped convict himself by telling federal authorities -- whom he described as the "Gestapo" -- too much. "I was the best source of information that the government had," he said. "Absolutely."

Skilling is now serving his sentence in a federal facility in Littleton, Colo.

Ebbers, Rigas and Skilling were all allowed out on bail pending their sentencing. Madoff was immediately jailed.

» Atttorney Elliot J. Blumenthal discussed the Madoff case earlier today on washingtonpost.com.

By Derek Kravitz |  March 12, 2009; 4:22 PM ET
Previous: Detroit Mayoral Candidate Questioned on Resume | Next: Anger After Madoff Plea, FBI Raids D.C. Tech Office, Obama's 'Mr. No'

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I support an Oz style prison for Madoff. I want him in the same shower as 6'3" 220lbs drug dealers, psychopaths, serial killers, murderers and gang-lords. And may he live to be a hundred years.

Posted by: cpatwork | March 12, 2009 6:03 PM

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