Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years for running a Ponzi scheme (and various related counts). This was the maximum allowed for all counts running consecutively.
The judge received approximately 450 e-mails from victims who told how much they had lost due to this man. He received no letters on Madoff’s behalf, except from his attorney.
His lawyer pleaded for a sentence that might allow the 71-year-old Madoff to get out of prison before he dies. Cited as a reason to show clemency was “his “full acceptance” of responsibility for his crimes.”
But has he really accepted responsibility?
After sentencing, he said he thought the judge had gone along with “the mob psychology of the time.” But this man caused hundreds of people to lose their life savings, their retirements, college funds for their kids, etc. I’m sorry, if you have multiple victims, then multiple victims seeking justice does not automatically make a mob. They are not entitled to less justice than a single victim simply because there are a lot of them. This isn’t Cheaper by the Dozen; no justice discounts for large groups of victims.
“Explain to me who else has received a sentence like that,” Mr. Madoff said. “I mean, serial killers get a death sentence, but that’s virtually what he gave me.”
Dying in prison does not equate to a death sentence. A death sentence is when you are killed before the termination of your natural life span. If you feel that you have a death sentence, Mr. Madoff, go speak to people sitting on death row who are actually waiting to be killed and see if your sentence really equals theirs.
And does Mr. Madoff not realize that at least one person committed suicide over this? That there are widows and elderly people without any income to live on in old age? Guess what, Mr. Madoff–your needs will be taken care of in prison. Unlike these now-destitute people who will have to wonder where the money for their medicine is going to come from, yours is going to come out of taxpayer funds.
It’s one thing if you invest people’s money in the market the best you know how, and then the market crashes and they lose everything, but he was well aware of the fact that he wasn’t actually investing anyone’s money. He–not the market–was directly responsible for these people’s losses; the market just put the brakes on the fraud.
“I’m surprised Chin didn’t suggest stoning in the public square,” he added.
He effectively stole money from thousands of people in multiple countries. But he thinks his sentence is too harsh?
I think his “remorse” is non-existent. This man and his wife tried to give money away (to the tune of $173 million) to family and friends before the government could seize it. Here people trusted him with their savings and he lost almost all of it, and the remainder he tried to send to his family and friends.
Sorry, but I’m feeling about as much sympathy for old Bernie as he’s felt for the people whose lives he’s ruined. I suggest he use the estimate 14 years of life that he has left to try to get right with God. He only thought Judge Chin was tough with him; what does he think will happen when he has the ultimate judge to answer to?