Bernie Madoff has finally met his judgement day. He was just sentenced to 150 years in prison for orchestrating the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
The 71-year-old former Nasdaq chairman pleaded guilty to securities fraud and other charges in March and has been jailed since.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin announced the sentencing in New York this morning. Defense attorneys had sought 12 years, while prosecutors wanted the maximum. The federal probation department had recommended 50 years.
Chin called the fraud “staggering” and noted that it spanned more than 20 years. He says “the breach of trust was massive.” Madoff responded with, "I don’t ask for any forgiveness.”
On Friday, the feds seized all of Madoff’s property in a $170 billion settlement, meaning that wife Ruth had to give up homes and property totaling about $80 million. That includes their Manhattan apartment; Montauk, NY, home; and residence in Palm Beach, FL.
The New York Post reports that Ruth is having a hard time finding another apartment, since landlords are slamming their doors in her face, even when she used her maiden name.
Madoff’s lawyer Ira Lee Sorkin wasn’t pleased with the outcome, saying, "Mr. Madoff is currently 71 years old and has an approximate life expectancy of 13 years. A prison term of 12 years — just short of an effective life sentence — will sufficiently address the goals of deterrence, protecting the public and promoting respect for the law."
Madoff has swindled countless celebrities and non-celebrities out of millions of dollars. This is a happy day for a lot of people who have been waiting for the day Madoff goes away forever.