The swindler behind the biggest financial scam Wall Street has ever seen, Bernard Madoff, has been jailed for 150 years by a judge in New York.
Legal experts had expected the judge to throw the book at him. And he did. In court some of his victims unleashed a flood of invective after losing everything. One said: “May your jail-cell be your coffin.” Another called Madoff “an evil low-life” who has left his children a “legacy of shame.” Just ten of the victims decided to address the court. The 71 year old defendant also had his say before the judge passed sentence. He always maintained he acted alone in the multi-billion dollar fraud that he ran for nearly 20 years. Madoff and his wife Ruth have had to give up luxury houses, apartments, jewellery and a yacht worth millions, but even that only scratches the surface of what his investors are owed. Bernard Madoff went to court in New York to be sentenced for conning thousands of investors – from ordinary citizens to major corporations – out of countless billions. The man who was once chairman of the Nasdaq trading exchange will certainly die in prison. Prosecutors spoke of the unique scope and duration of the fraud and have called for a 150 year sentence. Even his defence lawyer did not try to play down the extent of Madoff’s crimes.