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June 22, 2009

"Will Madoff ever leave prison alive?"

The title of this post is the headline of this new piece at CNNMoney.  Here is how the piece starts:

Convicted Ponzi scammer Bernard Madoff will probably spend the rest of his life in jail.  On June 29, Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court in New York sentences the 71-year-old. The maximum sentence is 150 years in a federal prison, based on Madoff's guilty plea to 11 criminal counts, including fraud, money laundering, perjury, false filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other crimes.

"[The Ponzi scheme's] effect on society was widespread," said Ken Rubinstein, asset protection lawyer with the New York firm Rubinstein & Rubinstein. "Its effect on individual victims was economically and psychologically catastrophic. I can't see how any judge would sentence him for any period that would be less than his remaining lifespan."

Victims of Madoff's scheme have appealed to Judge Chin for a sentence that would insure Madoff stands no chance of getting out. Leonard Forrest of Port St. Lucie, Fla., wrote to the judge that Madoff "deserves at best to spend the rest of his life in prison just as we will spend the rest of our lives in financial ruin and emotional and physical devastation."

Given the severity of Madoff's crimes, legal experts believe his victims will probably get their wish. Thus far, federal investigators have identified 1,341 investors in Madoff's firm, with losses exceeding $13 billion, and they're not done tallying up the damage.

In other words, the smart money is betting that the answer ot the question in this title of this post is "No."

June 22, 2009 at 10:00 PM | Permalink


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At $6 million each, Madoff's crime meter has whirred way past 123D. Each $6 million represents the labor and value of an economic person's lifetime. He is a mass murderer of 2000 economic persons at $13 billion.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 23, 2009 7:06:12 AM

I agree with the consensus that Bernie Madoff will not (and should never) leave prison alive. He has commited the greatest series of white collar crimes in the history of the world (to date). At his age (70+ years old), Bernie doesn't have enough remaining years of life remaining to properly atone for his crimes. What the readers of this blog should know is that it is unlikely he will receive the longest Federal criminal sentence in the history of the United States. That dubious distinction belongs to one Sholam Weiss, who was convicted in the Middle District of Florida in 2001. He absconded before his case went to the jury, and was convicted and sentenced in absentia. His Judge, Patricia Fawcett, gave him the statutory maximum sentence for each of the 74 counts, and ran each sentence consecutive to every other sentence( called "stacking"), to achieve the necessary "total punishment" of 845 years! Mr. Weiss's crimes revovle around a conspiracy to loot a Fla.-based life insurance company of $23 million, which caused the company to fail and be taken over by the state of Florida. Mr. Weiss's appeal to the 11th Circuit was dismissed pursuant to the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, so his convictions and sentence have never been (and never will be) reviewed on the merits by an appellate court. His time to file a section 2255 Habeas Corpus Motion then expired 1 year and 10 days after his sentencing date, without any Motion being filed. Two years later, Mr. Weiss was aprehended in Austria and eventually was extradited back to the United States to serve his sentence. The propriety of misrepresentations made by the U.S. Dept. of Justice to the Austrian Minsiter of Justice to obtain Mr. Weiss's extradition is the subject of a 2241 Habeas Corpus Petition in the Middle District of Florida at Ocala, although Mr. Weiss has since been transferred to a new penitentiary located in Pennsylvania. The scope of Mr. Weiss's crimes doesn't begin to approach those of Mr. Weiss, but he won't receive a sentence as long as Mr. Weiss's 845 years. In football, we would describe a sentence that long as "piling on".

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Jun 23, 2009 2:21:41 PM

In response to the 150 year sentence, is it possible with advancing medical advances that prolong life by a big maragin, that he will be released from prison at the age of 221 alive if Maddoff is forced to take up the advanced medical advances that would prolong his life?

Posted by: William Walker | Jul 1, 2009 3:02:02 AM

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