A Manhattan judge has just slapped Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff with 150 years in prison.
According to the Associated Press, Judge Denny Chin said he had to hit Bernie with the maximum sentence because the con man’s fraud was so excessive. The judge also hoped that his decision would send a message to those that might consider committing a crime like Bernard’s.
Judge Denny had turned down a request for leniency against the 71-year old defendant, and he rejected claims that Bernie’s victims were seeking mob vengeance.
"Here the message must be sent that [Bernard’s] crimes were extraordinarily evil and that this kind of manipulation of the system is not just a bloodless crime that takes place on paper, but one instead that takes a staggering toll," said the judge
But before the judge banged the gavel he made Bernie listen to witness testimony about what his widespread fraud had shattered their security. One of his countless victims said, “Life has been a living hell. It feels like a nightmare we can’t wake from.”
"He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values," said Tom Fitzmaurice, another man who’d been cheated by Bernie. "He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife Ruth could live a life of luxury beyond belief."
The judge said that estimating at around $13 billion was a conservative number because that number didn’t take money from feeder funds into account.
"Objectively speaking, the fraud here was staggering," he said.
At sentencing today, Bernard said that he isn’t seeking forgiveness for his crimes and that he has to live "with this pain, this torment, for the rest of my life."
This has been the most recent financial hit the former broker. Last week he was issued a $171 billion forfeiture order, which require him to give up all his personal property along with $80 million in assets his wife Ruth had claimed belonged to her.
Ruth’s been left with $2.5 million and Bernie must sell the $7 million apartment in Manhattan where she lives.
– Sonya Eskridge