Madoff sentenced to 150 years for Ponzi Scheme
Update: 29 June 2009 12:28 PM EDT
Madoff is sentenced to 150 years in prison for Wall Street's biggest Ponzi Scheme.
"Historic swindler Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison [today] for a fraud so extensive that the judge said he needed to send a symbolic message to potential imitators and to victims who demanded harsh punishment."
Read the entire article at MSNBC, here.
Swindler Bernard "Bernie" Madoff can expect a "de-facto" life term imprisonment at sentencing today. Madoff, who ran Wall Street's biggest Ponzi scheme will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin.
A U.S. judge is expected to sentence Madoff, 71, to an effective life term in prison during an emotional court hearing starting at 10 a.m. EDT, in which some of his defrauded investors will describe the shock of losing their life savings.
The swindler, who pleaded guilty to a slew of crimes in the same Manhattan federal court in March, will "speak to the shame he has felt and to the pain he has caused," said his lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, who has suggested a 12-year prison sentence.
"Given the enormous amount of funds he has stolen and the number of victims, the sentence is going to be very, very high," said Paul Radvany, a law professor at Fordham University in New York and a former federal prosecutor.
The 100 or so letters sent to the judge from customers and what 10 will say at the hearing could have "a great impact" at the sentencing, Radvany said.
Investigators do not know how much was stolen, according to court papers. About $13 billion has been traced to more than 1,300 customer accounts. The trustee winding down the Madoff firm has so far collected $1.2 billion to return to investors.
Prosecutors also say $170 billion flowed through the principal Madoff account over decades and that weeks before his December arrest, the firm's statements showed a total of $65 billion.
The hearing will be held in a ceremonial courtroom that accommodates 250 people. Two other rooms in the courthouse in lower Manhattan are being provided for defrauded investors and spectators to watch on closed-circuit TV.
"Madoff's wife Ruth and other family members are not expected to be there. They have not attended any court appearances since his arrest last December."
The only other individual charged in the scheme is Madoff's longtime accountant, David Friehling.
Read previous NowPublic coverage, here.