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July 9, 2009

"Madoff won't appeal 150-year sentence, attorney says"

The title of this post is the headline of this new story from CNN.  Here are a few more details:

"We are not going to appeal," Madoff attorney Ira Lee Sorkin told CNN on Thursday.  Sorkin said he met with Madoff this week at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan.  "Even if the Court of Appeals sends it back, certainly a guidelines sentence under the circumstances would give him a life sentence," he added.

Citing crimes that were "extraordinarily evil," U.S. District Judge Denny Chin on June 29 sentenced Madoff to the maximum 150-year term for the 11 criminal counts to which Madoff pleaded guilty, including securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

The official estimate of investor losses suffered from Madoff's scheme stands at more than $13 billion, but that amount ultimately may be more.  Chin said the severity of the sentence would be symbolic, important in a case where the "fraud was staggering" and the "breach of trust was massive."

Sorkin said he differs with Chin's focus on symbolism.  "I don't think the guidelines talk about symbolism.  People are not symbols.  They are sentenced under a reasonable standard," the attorney said. But Sorkin added, "The judge made the decision.  We respect his decision."

July 9, 2009 at 05:57 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Given the sentence was within guidelines, the talk about an appeal always seemed to be mostly media-generated chit-chat.

Nick
Police Officer

Posted by: Nick | Jul 9, 2009 10:02:26 PM

The crime was horrendous, no question. Lots of unimaginable human wreckage in its wake.

Yet I wonder if it rises to the level of "evil," particularly if he deluded himself to believe the scheme could sustain itself in perpetuity.

Posted by: John K | Jul 10, 2009 1:21:34 PM

As I recall, Madoff admitted that he knew a long time ago that the scheme could not be continued forever, and would eventually have to collapse. That, to my mind, is what's evil about it. I can somewhat understand (without condoning) invading client funds that you honestly believe you can pay back. But it is clear, by his own admission, that for many years Madoff knew that the investments he was taking in could never be paid back.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Jul 10, 2009 1:54:29 PM

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