Madoff Faces Sentencing Today

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Bernard Madoff, the architect of the $65 billion Ponzi scheme that shook the financial world, will learn today whether he will die in prison when a judge sentences him for masterminding his massive fraud.  U.S. District Judge Denny Chin will impose sentence on Madoff at 10 a.m.

The 71-year-old Madoff, whose scam is thought to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history, will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.  While the fraudster’s attorney is seeking a sentence of 12 years, prosecutors have urged that he get the maximum allowed for his crimes: 150 years in prison for his guilty plea on 11 counts of securities fraud, money laundering and perjury.    The scope, duration and nature of Madoff’s crimes render him exceptionally deserving of the maximum punishment allowed by law, and the guidelines advice a sentence of 150 years.

The other part of Madoff’s sentence became clearer on Friday, when Chin entered a preliminary $171 billion forfeiture order against the fraudster. Under the order, Madoff must give up all of his property interests.

To that end, Madoff’s wife of 45 years, on Friday forfeited claims to some $80 million in assets, including her homes in New York, the Hamptons and Florida. Under a deal with the prosecutors, Ruth Madoff, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, will be left with $2.5 million in cash.

“In compromise of claims Ruth Madoff would have pursued, the Office will not contest a claim to a sum of money equal to $2,500,000, which sum the Office shall cause to be tendered to Ruth Madoff promptly after she vacates the real property and surrenders all personal property,” according to the court order.

The agreement only covers claims by prosecutors: Ruth Madoff could still face civil claims from Madoff’s victims.

Anna Timone (195 Posts)


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