Fraudster Madoff jailed for 150 years

The international fraudster Bernard Madoff was jailed for the rest of his life today for swindling investors out of billions of dollars.





The 71-year-old was sentenced to 150 years after he, 10 of his victims and lawyers on both sides had addressed the court.

Dozens of those who lost fortunes in his pyramid-based Ponzi investment fraud that lasted decades filled the New York courthouse having spent hours queueing to get seats.

Madoff, a former Nasdaq chairman, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and other charges in March and has since been held in jail.



Victims who lost millions of dollars had described their ruined lives to judge Denny Chin.

Madoff, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a tie, sat and listened as they described how he wrecked their financial security, and urged he be sent to prison for life.

"Life has been a living hell. It feels like the nightmare we can't wake from," said Carla Hirshhorn.

"He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values," said Tom Fitzmaurice. "He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife Ruth could live a life of luxury beyond belief."

Dominic Ambrosino called it an "indescribably heinous crime" and urged a long prison sentence so "will know he is imprisoned in much the same way he imprisoned us and others." He added: "In a sense, I would like somebody in the court today to tell me how long is my sentence."

Madoff's lawyer had asked a judge to give his client 12 years behind bars. Prosecutors sought the maximum 150-year term.

Madoff has already has taken a severe financial hit: Last week, a judge issued a preliminary 171 billion dollar forfeiture order stripping him of all his personal property, including real estate, investments, and 80 million dollars in assets his wife Ruth had claimed were hers. The order left her with 2.5 million dollars.

The terms require the Madoffs to sell a 7 million dollar Manhattan apartment where Ruth Madoff still lives. An 11 million dollar estate in Palm Beach, a 4 million dollar home in Montauk and a 2.2 million dollar boat will be put on the market as well.

Before Madoff became a symbol of Wall Street greed, he had earned a reputation as a trusted money manager with a Midas touch. Even as the market fluctuated, clients of his secretive investment advisory business - from Florida retirees to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax - for decades enjoyed steady double-digit returns.

But late last year, Madoff made a dramatic confession: Authorities say he pulled his sons aside and told them it was "all just one big lie." In reality, Madoff never made any investments, instead using the money from new investors to pay returns to existing clients - and to finance a lavish lifestyle for his family.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Account Manager

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SEO Account Manager is requi...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£35-45K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer / Web ...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Commercial Manager is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders