His lawyer was trying to get him off with 12 years in jail. The judge certainly did the right thing in this case. I just feel terrible for his wife....
The judge was probably one of his former clients....LOL!
Yet the board of Citibank, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae et al go free. Go figure.........
One thing we've all learned is that there is no figuring.
Amen. I guess Madoff's mistake was that he didn't make it into "too big to fail" territory...
I saw this early this morning. Hey, the judge felt he deserved more than 12 years. lol I do feel sorry for his family but not too much for him. lol
serves him right!
too much greed and no shame
His wife will be just fine. I guarantee it. He couldn't have been the warmest man, but he was an equal opportunity swindler. I'll give him that. As far as passing judgement... I will leave it at that.
not enough. I don't know if I believe that Ruth Madoff knew nothing or not. But she is keeping $2.5 million. I'd like her better if she kept almost nothing and gave it to one of the penniless victims. Lived in a simple ranch somewhere nameless.
I hope Bernie, doesn't get to serve time in a Club Fed, minimum security. He should do very hard tiime.
LOL writeside! You're probably right about that one.
Nelle - With Ruth, I wasn't necessarily thinking about the money, although you are right on point. I just meant that I feel sorry for her because she is essentially losing her husband.
Just woke up (lol was up late last night) and heard the news. The maximum sentence was the best that could be done. It definitely sends a message to future greedy men (or women!) that attempt to run a horrific scheme like this. Either way, Mr. Madoff will perish in prison.
Sadly, I'm sure this day still doesn't seem as satisfactory as many, if not all, of his victims dreamed it would be.
Not that I'm against prison for this guy, but I have a proposed way of dealing with some of these people: First, instead of paying for them in prison, set them up in a welfare apartment in a typical low-income neighborhood. Take and sell anything he owns, and set up a fund toward aiming to pay some people some part of what was lost. Then stick some leg irons on him, have him go around and give lectures (about what happened, what made him have no conscience, how to prevent getting scammed, etc.); and send proceeds to the fund. Then have him write books - same thing, proceeds to the fund. The whole rest of his life would be devoted to aiming to pay into the fund, while he would left living on whatever it is welfare people get each month. If he could start up a legitimate business somehow, fine, let him. Proceeds would go to the fund. Maybe aim to start paying the people most severely hurt first (or something like that). The wife could either go with him (that's what she gets for being married to him), or else she could be given a few thousand dollars to set herself up in her place, and figure it out from there.
Not literally anyway. He basically swindled thousands of individuals and companies out of their money with a gigantic Ponzi scheme. Let's put it this way -- the judge ordered him to forfeit $171 billion dollars in assets.
So other parties were completely innocent, and did not display any sign of greed at all
Two suicides have been directly attributed to the fraud scheme.
We don't know about the women who have lost things like health insurance and haven't been able to afford mammograms. All kinds of things happen when your wiped out financially. Americans don't have much of a social safety net.
Why people took part in those schemes? Aren't THEY first responsible for their lives?
To a certain extent. Sometimes people can be pushed over the edge.
People were investing their money (savings, pensions, etc.) into his company. He was lying to them, telling them that they were making great returns, when he was really out using their money for his own purposes. They had no idea what was really going on.
Here's Wikipedia's definition of a Ponzi scheme:
I bet the majority of them had, consciously or not. They took the gamble and lost, pretty much like with subprime mortgages, stock bubble, etc. Greed.
Perhaps some of them. But the vast majority were just plain working. Absolutely they were trying to make a good return off of the money, but not necessarily for greed. I've read about quite a few who just wanted to be able to cover their retirement years. If I invest my money in a Certificate of Deposit or the stock market, does that mean I'm greedy? Or just trying to do the best I can...
So I take it you are not against CEOs trying to do the best they can to their retirement money, right?
I agree with Misha. When greed blinds one not to pursue solid research or background check then it is the individual's responsibility. We have a legal term "caveat emptor"(buyer beware) for such investments.
Yes, but they were already punished for their greed by losing everything. I don't carry a lot of sympathy for them either, actually, which doesn't mean I wasn't glad to see Madoff prosecuted.
You sound like Tolstoy... no human being has the moral fitness to judge any other human being (Resurrection). So Russian of you, Misha.
I doubt it was Bernie who pushed them over the edge
I guess I am just trying to say that I find it ridiculous to put a man behind the bars for 150 years just for money he made cheating others. Force him to return the money, possibly impose a hefty fine on him, but 150 years is something that might only be suitable for serial murderers, if at all...
Securities fraud is illegal. He broke the law and was sentenced to do time for it. How much anybody suffered has nothing to do with it.
I do see Misha's point a little though in the sense that people have been expecting double digit returns on their investments for over a decade, and they haven't really cared how those returns came about, the just felt entitled. Like, Just get me over 10%, I don't care how you do it.
That's not smart. People should care how they do it. Didn't anyone ask any questions at all ever? Why not? Because as long as the returns were coming in, it was fine with them. Steal it, grind up babies, who cares--just get me my 10% + return on my money.
I wish I had these kinds of terrible problems.
I agree that people should care how they do it. I just don't quite agree with Misha's take that these folks were particpiants that had it coming to them. Madoff was pushing his product and actively marketing it. Now, if someone came to you and said you could invest your savings with Reputable Company A and get a 10% return, or you can put it in Reputable Company B and get a 3% return, wouldn't you go with the 10%? When questioned by his investors, Madoff blatantly lied to them.
If I invested my money in a particular stock and I saw double digit returns on it, do I then hire a financial auditor to check the company out?
Right, I'm with you on that.
I'm just saying that in cases of fraud there is usually some bit of collusion that makes the defrauded person keep quiet because the person feels 'in' on it. That's an important part of most scams--tapping into people's greed and making them feel too ashamed to report the fraud.
So he defrauded people and he should go to jail--It's against the law.
But the other side is, think, you know? People were kind of on this crazy greed roller coaster for years. Lots of people in the financial community knew Madoff was up to something but they turned the other way, including the SEC. Anyone who checked around a bit would have quickly hit SOMEONE who would have said, "Uh, this guy--I think he's doing something weird." But no one bothered to check.
I don't say they "deserved it," I'm just saying people were expecting an awful lot and not watching out for themselves very well, just taking Madoff's word for it. I can't imagine investing millions with someone on the basis of us both being Jewish. I'd need a little more background than that.
And I am saying they did deserve it, in the sense like child playing with knife despite of what parents told him deserves to get a fingercut, to learn his lesson about cause and effect.
You don't sentence a knife for life for that, do you?
Not quite the same. The child would have had parents there watching out over the child and telling him it's not safe to play with the knife. Virtually everyone here was endorsing Madoff as a financial genius.
Yeah but (weirdly) playing with a knife when your parents told you not to is not illegal. It's dumb but not illegal.
Fraud is illegal. Con artists break the law.
Anyone can be conned. Some cons are dumber than others--like I said, I can't imagine that I personally would have fallen for Madoff's, because I would have checked him out and quick found someone who told me that he was exactly what he was.
But there are other kinds of cons that are not so easy to spot.
Financial dealings have to have some level of honesty or what's the point? Might as well burn your money for fuel. So what he did is illegal and he deserves to go to jail. If you want to blame his victims it's nothing to me, blame away. But he does deserve jail because he's a thief.
Pam, myself is not a big fan of legality, seeing all those crazy laws that are around. So I don't really measure people deeds by being legal or illegal.
At the same time, I do agree that what he did was not an innocent play - yet giving him a basically life jail sentence for being a con artist does not get my vote.
Wonder if there'll be similar penalties for the politicians, bankers, and advisers when it finally dawns on people that there's very little difference between what Bernie did and what the government are doing with their borrowings, bailouts, handouts, etc?
unofficial source in the media says they are about to charge 10 more people related to the Madoff fraud.
better than I would have expected.
Also, the idea that "if I can take your money by lying then I deserve it more than you" is a sociopath's line. Why would you admire that? Why would anyone admire that kind of thinking?
it's been going on for three decades in the U.S. and I've never understood why.
I don't find sociopathy something to admire, regardless of income plus assets.
Yeah look at most of the trading banks
They con us every day and manipulate, yet they are within the law. (mostly)
Which make me draw the conclusion that some laws are corrupt!
I actually was surprised regarding the severity of long sentence. Yes Madoff did a very horrible thing, but what about people who murder and maime someone but receive a lighter sentences? Madoff was a corrupt person, but 150 years seems more of a symbolic verdict to me. Also, what irkes me is there are a few gentlemen who have molested children in our community, but they only got a few years in prison and are free to roam about. Honestly I think a rapist or a murderer is far more deserving of 150 years than Madoff. The best solution would have been to seize all of his funds and disperse it among the people he swindled. Then force him to work three or four tedious jobs and come back to a boring and very bland apartment just to sleep for six hours or so.
I know exactly what you mean.
It's worse than that too, because Madoff will end up in some 'gentleman's prison' with a bunch of white collar criminals and no violence or anything, while somebody who gets caught selling pot will go in with child rapists, serial killers, and mother eaters.
There's two levels of justice: One for the rich, one for the rest of us.
Madoff is in all this trouble because he honked off a bunch of rich folks.
This year, the US government intends to borrow about 50 times as Bernie collected over a 20 year period.
The only way they're going to be able to pay it back is to borrow even more money from people.
Classic Ponzi Scheme.
Bernie got 150 years for doing this.
They shouldn't keep him in jail at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a year. What they SHOULD do is give him Bernanke's job when his term is up. He's certainly the best qualified person for the current financial policy of the country/world. And he has the runs on the board.
At least people will then know what kind of behaviour to expect from the US treasury.
He ripped people off, and some of his clients were rich people who should have known better. Take the money and run is wrong in my eyes........
The key word here is "some". "Some" should have known better, like the Royal Bank of Scotland. But people like Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are rich because they're good actors. We expect them also to be financial geniuses? And let's not forget that a whole lot of those that were ripped off and lost their life savings were farmers, mechanics and schoolteachers.
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