Symbolic message sent

Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prisonyesterday for fraud so extensive the judge said he needed to send asymbolic message to those who might imitate his fraud and to victimswho need relief.

Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison yesterday for fraud so extensive the judge said he needed to send a symbolic message to those who might imitate his fraud and to victims who need relief.

Applause broke out in the crowded Manhattan courtroom after U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued the maximum sentence to the defendant, who said he sought no forgiveness and knew he must live “with this pain, this torment, for the rest of my life.”

Chin rejected a request by Madoff’s lawyer for leniency and said he disagreed that victims of the fraud were seeking mob vengeance. “Here the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’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,” Chin said.

The judge said the estimate that Madoff has cost his victims more than $13 billion?US was conservative because it did not include money from feeder funds.

Madoff, 71, listened as emotional witnesses described how he spoiled their security. “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.”

Last week, a judge issued a preliminary $171-billion forfeiture order stripping Madoff of all his personal property, including real estate, investments, and $80 million in assets his wife Ruth had claimed were hers.

 
 
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