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October 22, 2010

"Mini-Madoff" gets mini-sentence that should still be a functional life sentence

As detailed in this Reuters piece, which is headlined "Mini-Madoff Nadel Sentenced to 14 Years Prison," another high-profile Ponzi-schemer faced the sentencing music yesterday.  Here are the basic details:

Arthur Nadel, a fund manager whose $168 million fraud was one of several that collapsed in the declining economy and left hundreds of investors without their money, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Thursday.

Nadel, 77, dubbed "mini-Madoff" in his home state of Florida after epic swindler Bernard Madoff, was excoriated as "evil" and "a loser" by one of his victims during the sentencing proceeding in U.S. District Court in New York.

"Arthur, you are an evil person," said businessman Michael Sullivan of Barrington Hills, Illinois.  "I assume you are a narcissistic psychopath" and "just a weak child seething with anger and loathing" who had "little success in life until you founded your fraudulent funds."

Judge John Koeltl rejected as too long U.S. prosecutors' requested sentence of between 19-1/2 years and 24 years, citing Nadel's age and a heart ailment.  But Koeltl said Nadel orchestrated a "massive fraud" on investors, "many elderly and who lost the fruits of their lives," adding that "it caused financial difficulties to the victims and those close to them."...

Looking thin and frail with one of his sons present in the back of the court, Nadel stood in prison garb and told the judge that he had read letters submitted to Koeltl by many of his 390 victims. "Their anger and outrage became mine at myself," Nadel said.  "I blame only myself for my acts."

His court-appointed lawyer had asked the judge to imprison Nadel for just five years, given his life expectancy, so that he would not die in prison.

I suppose it is possible that Nadel will live into his 90s and perhaps live out this 14-year federal prison sentence.  But odds are that Arthur Nadel, like Bernie Madoff, will die in prison.

October 22, 2010 at 09:36 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"Judge John Koeltl rejected as too long U.S. prosecutors' requested sentence of between 19-1/2 years and 24 years, citing Nadel's age and a heart ailment."

Is it just me, or does this justification not make any sense? If he's 77 and has a heart ailment, 14 years is a life sentence anyways.

Don't get me wrong--this guy deserves to die in prison--I just don't see why the judge felt a need to give a junior varsity life sentence on the record.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Oct 22, 2010 12:41:09 PM

Once the defendant has exceeded the value of a human life in their criminal damage, such as $6 million, the execution should be mandatory and summary. They have really murdered a human life in economic terms.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 22, 2010 10:02:09 PM

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