Madoff sentenced to 150 years for fraud

Madoff sentenced to 150 years for fraud

Madoff sentenced to 150 years for fraud

In pronouncing the sentence — the maximum he could have handed down — Judge Denny Chin turned aside  Madoff’s own assertions of remorse and rejected the suggestion from Madoff’s lawyers that there was a sense of “mob vengeance” surrounding calls for a long prison term.

“Objectively speaking, the fraud here was staggering,” the judge said. “It spanned more than 20 years.” The sentencing came at the end of a 90-minute hearing in which victims of the $65 billion fraud told a packed courtroom that the judge should show no mercy and Madoff himself stood up from the defence table to acknowledge the damage he had inflicted and express regret.

“I’m responsible for a great deal of suffering and pain, I understand that,” the 71-year-old financier told the court. “I live in a tormented state now, knowing all of the pain and suffering that I’ve created. I’ve left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren.”

Addressing his victims seated in the courtroom, he said: “I will turn and face you. I’m sorry. I know that doesn’t help you.”

Prosecutors said Madoff deserved the maximum sentence — representing a life sentence and more for the disgraced financier — for perpetrating one of the biggest investment frauds in Wall Street history. Madoff’s own lawyers said he should receive only 12 years.

The hearing opened with statements from victims of the Madoff scheme, who stood at a lectern and told wrenching stories of how they had lost everything, and were now working several jobs and living hand-to-mouth.

They fought through tears, connected Madoff to villains from Dante’s Inferno, spoke of their feelings of betrayal and mistrust, and described how their families had lost money that would have gone to caring for disabled relatives.