Madoff sentenced to 150 years

madoff-sentenced-to-150-years

Bernard Madoff was sentenced Monday to 150 years in prison for masterminding one of the biggest Wall Street investment frauds in history.

The 71-year-old disgraced financier pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts of fraud on March 12, telling the lower Manhattan federal court that he was “deeply sorry and ashamed.”

During a hearing to decide his sentence, some of Madoff’s victims told the U.S. District Court in emotional terms of the effect the $65 billion crime had had on their lives.

When Judge Denny Chin announced his decision, scattered applause and whoops broke out in the crowded courtroom. The convicted swindler showed no emotion as the judge ordered him to serve the rest of his life in jail.

Madoff operated on a classic Ponzi scheme–using the money that new customers invested to pay those who wanted to withdraw funds. To some, he offered returns as high as 46 percent.

The scheme evaporated life fortunes, wiped out charities and apparently pushed at least two investors to commit suicide.