The swindler behind the biggest financial scam Wall Street has ever seen – Bernard Madoff – is waiting to be sentenced in New York. Legal experts expect the judge to throw the book at him.
The 71-year-old has already admitted fraud. But even now, officials do not know exactly how much he stole. Investigators have found the equivalent of more than nine billion euros is missing – but they have recovered less than a tenth of that to return to the victims. Prosecutors say that figure alone is 32 times greater than that which would carry a life term. Even his defence lawyer has asked for a sentence that would see him behind bars until the age of 83. Madoff’s thieving encompassed securities fraud, money laundering and perjury over decades that prosecutors said hit individuals and some of the world’s biggest corporations. They said Madoff’s conduct was unique in its scope and duration, and called for him to go to jail for 150 years.