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Madoff Sentenced To 150 Years 602

selven was one of several readers to send in the news that Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison. "Bernard Madoff's victims gasped and cheered when he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, but they walked away knowing little more about how he carried out the biggest robbery in Wall Street history. In one of the most dramatic courtroom conclusions to a corporate fraud case, the 71-year-old swindler was unemotional as he was berated by distraught investors during the 90-minute proceeding. Many former clients had hoped he would shed more light on his crime and explain why he victimized so many for so long. But he did not. Madoff called his crime 'an error of judgment' and his 'failure,' reiterating previous statements that he alone was responsible for the $65 billion investment fraud. His victims said they did not hear much new from Madoff in his five-minute statement. They also said they did not believe anything he said. As he handed down the maximum penalty allowed, US District Judge Denny Chin... [said], 'I simply do not get the sense that Mr. Madoff has done all that he could or told all that he knows.'"
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Madoff Sentenced To 150 Years

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  • Madoff is content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:13PM (#28521463) Journal
    I've thought this since news of the scandal broke:

    You know why Bernie Madoff seems to be very complacent about the whole thing? Because his sons got off scot-free. Madoff is quite fine with sacrificing his freedom for the rest of his life... there are few things more [noble? gratifying?] than sacrificing yourself for your children.

    I still believe it very unlikely that Bernie's sons didn't knowingly participate in this... or at least were aware of it. The whole way that the story broke... Madoff confessed to his son when he caught him trying to cover it up or something... then the sons convincing him to turn himself in...

    I think Bernie is at least partly taking the fall for his sons. I only wish we could find out the whole truth.
  • Oh great! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:15PM (#28521495) Journal

    He gets room and board on our dime. They should put a zapper-collar on him and cut him loose. Then garnish every dollar he makes. Let him stay at the Y and work for Mickey Ds. Then again we deserve this for not watching over and voting out the corrupt politicos. It's the voters' fault as much as anybody's. I don't care why he did it. We all know why. A lot of people are tempted to do the same thing if they think they won't get caught. And it's we who let them get away with an awful lot every election cycle. Maybe because many of us would like to get away with this ourselves if we thought we had a chance. He represents a pretty broad spectrum. So fuck him, and fuck all those who reelect the crooks who make all this possible.

  • Re:Now what about (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:17PM (#28521519)

    Hell for that matter what about all the other irresponsible jackasses that damaged far more than just rich investors? What about the politicians that enabled them? What about Greenspan? Why aren't we kicking the shit out of everyone involved?

    To answer you and I both: because the rich jerks behind all this wish to sacrifice as few of their ilk as it takes to pacify the masses, not actually punish everyone involved because it's the right thing to do.

  • Re:Tricky (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vectronic ( 1221470 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:21PM (#28521573)

    Indeed, he's already bought and played with all the toys he wanted, been everywhere he wanted to go, etc... he's past the normal age of retirement, and will likely end up in some minimum security old folks home, living out his days telling stories about the Great Swindle of '96 or whatever, and writing his biography.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:24PM (#28521597)

    Does it make you cry to think that there might be other views out there besides your own?

  • Re:Good... although (Score:5, Interesting)

    by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:44PM (#28521845)

    I'm sure Madoff operated with that understanding (hey, he can't be stupid), yet still got caught in spite of that. I don't really think this sends any message anyone wasn't already aware of.

    The message before today was, "and if you get caught, you get 3-10 years, then you're back out and you'll be rich."

    A lot of people take these sorts of risks under the impression that, worst case, they spend a few years in jail, and they're fine with the prospect of trading a few years of their life in exchange for wealth far beyond their natural means.

    Now the message is, "if you get caught, your life is ruined."

  • Re:Madoff is content (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:46PM (#28521857) Journal

    I still believe it very unlikely that Bernie's sons didn't knowingly participate in this... or at least were aware of it

    Since Madoff's fund did not make a single trade for 20 years (or was it for the fund's existance?), I find it impossible to believe they did not know, unless they collected their huge salary checks for doing precisely nothing.

    I wonder how that defence will fly when the son's are sued: "Your honor, members of the jury, my clients should not have to repay the millions of dollars that they received in salary, because they did nothing whatsoever to earn it."

    But let's not forget the accountant who enabled this -- he should go away for 150 years also. That's probably more important from a deterrent perspective than Madoff going away for the rest of his life.

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @07:51PM (#28521909)

    But it doesn't really matter, does it? These were the extremely wealthy who were conned.
    As far as the general public is concerned, it's not a big deal when the wealthy steal from the wealthy.

    Excuse me, but...

    I lost my job over this when my employer tanked because of Madoff's scam, and I never had a dime invested with him. This has affected all kinds of people!

  • Re:Good... although (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:25PM (#28522303)
    Thing is, if you try to make money off of crime and you're convicted, the government seizes everything in sight unless you can prove 100% that you had it before the crime was committed. They call it 'proceeds of crime', and put it in place to 'get' drug 'kingpins'. Even hiding the cash offshore isn't good enough, as even the Swiss have bent over backwards to open the books on those numbered accounts. Moving 65 billion dollars is a big feat, and will leave a big-assed papertrail.
  • Re:Tricky -- NOT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:53PM (#28522619)
    Which honestly is pointless. Should Madoff be banned from operating a company? Sure. Should he have to return his stolen goods and pay back the people he scammed? Yes. Should he be forced to liquefy most of his assets to help pay back? Yes. Should he be in prison not just scamming people once but effectively scamming the taxpayers. No. Prison should be reserved for only dangerous people who committed violent crimes and need to be put away for a while so they don't go back into crime and when they get out of prison they for the most part should be rehabilitated and able to live a normal life (with perhaps a few restrictions such as banning the sale/possession of firearms form violent criminals). Madoff is not a danger to society. And before you try to use a reasoning of "setting an example" that is not justice. No matter how much he scammed, he does not belong in jail. He should be working the rest of his life making small payments to pay for those he scammed. Prison is not the place for non-violent criminals, those should be placed on house arrest, have fines, restrictions or be placed on probation. Why should my tax dollars pay to lock away someone who wouldn't threaten anyone's lives, property, etc if he was out on the streets (with again restrictions on what he can and can't do economically).
  • Where do I sign up? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maxwell ( 13985 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:05PM (#28522721) Homepage

    Fifty years of the most luxurious lifestyle imaginable, every financial dream at your dospaoals, walthy than the ealthiest kings - without all the hassle.

    Followed by 2-5 years in prison and a quiet death?

    I'll take it. Where do I sign up?

    Real punishment would be making him work to pay something - ANYTHING- back. Not to the people he fleeced, who were almost as greedy, but to soceity as whole. Now taxpayers have to pay to house and feed this guy! Make him work as a waiter, or cold call salesman or some other crap drop until he drops dead. Every penny gets invested into a trust fund for children's education or some other noble cause.

  • Re:Tag "republicans" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:52PM (#28523121)
    It's tagged Republicans because they were the ones that deregulated the markets, filled the SEC with people that they believed would look the other way and were by and large the loudest voices decrying efforts to keep tabs of what they're doing.

    Of course he gave most of his money to the Democrats for God's sake, you don't give a lot of money to the people that are on your side regardless. You give money to people who you want to sway in your direction.
  • Re:Tricky -- NOT (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:16PM (#28523361)

    Where I live, everyone is covered. Walk into a hospital, get treated, walk out. Everyone.

  • by Cormophyte ( 1318065 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:28PM (#28523441) that prison will be able to provide true justice in this case. There comes a time where you have to cut your losses. There's no way to make things right, so we have to try to make him truly understand what he's done and to feel remorse for what he's done to people who had just as much of a right to be happy as he did, and from whom he stole that possibility.

    What better path to that realization than buttsecks? Lots and lots of sweaty buttsecks.

  • Try again (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:33PM (#28523473)

    That thief has forced people much older than he is to go back to work when they thought they had their retirement covered. Can you imagine being an 80 year old frail granny and finding out you are now penniless? It wasn't just other rich fatcats he ripped off, he ripped off all sorts of normal regular working folks whose other financial "advisors" got them hooked up with his fraud. Now they have to go commute twice a day with reduced reflexes, bad eyes and arthritis, or go out on the street penniless. Let alone the physical and psychological stress.

    And by not locking him up, you are saying to other white collar megathieves at high levels, go ahead, do your worst, the new plan is to give you a government job and credit card if you get caught?

    WHAT freeking deranged planet do you live on? That sort of "justice" would stop those thieves from being thieves? That's not even CLOSE to being a deterrent. Incarceration is both, it is supposed to be a deterrent to others, plus a punishment for the convicted. This asshole has probably caused any number of heart attacks and strokes now just from the stress a lot of his victims got put through. And a lot of them won't get a penny back because of the way the laws work, in fact, the ones who REALLY need some of their money back are the ones most likely to not get any. Those victims need to know he AT LEAST will suffer as much as they are now going to suffer. Wait until you get older, see how it feels to know you'll never be able to relax or have a day off no matter how tired and frail you get.

    Nope, he needs jail, along with a slew of other wall street financial snakeoil conmen, they can start with the entire goldman sachs organization, biggest damn leeches and parasites on the planet. The damn revolving door between their offices and official government positions is *obscene*. They are the prime movers behind this economic coup d' etat we are all going to suffer for years under. They need to BAN most paper financial "products" and "services", because they are all mostly SCAMS [] and even some in the industry recognize this now. The whole wallstreet congame needs to be called and regulated like what it is, a CASINO. They need to be BANNED from calling what they do as "investing", it is so far away from the classical definition it ain't funny, and this case PROVES there has been no credible oversight by all the agencies who get fat checks and pensions to supposedly "regulate" it.. Madoff, goldman-sachs, all of those bloated ticks hanging off of society, including the almost completely useless government regulators, jail is almost too good for them. The government had just a few actually honest and righteous investigators who called foul years ago on madoff and some other crooks, the result, wall street influence got them told to sit down and shut up. Do you get it yet? Madoff is just a symptom of the rot and is an easy target for them to throw away as a MISDIRECTION. This is a political stunt, but he still needs jail. Just don't stop with just him.

        Madoff is a public sacrifice they are throwing to the mobs just to see if people will forget about all the other scam-foolery that has been and is still going on with this whole economic "system" designed and run for wall street fatcats. He is SMALL POTATOES and still freaking bad. Lock him up, and then start on locking up a few thousand more and we can call it a decent first day effort, then get serious about it. Throw a freekin blockade around manhattan and start running some serious checks on what has been going on there for the last several decades, they have STOLEN most of the wealth produced in the US through lies, buying off congress, economic manipulation, insider trading, insider trading through foreknowledge of what the Fed does, and etc. A damn nest of thieves, rotten and corrupt to the core.

  • Re:Tricky -- NOT (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ravrazor ( 69324 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:33PM (#28523475)

    You're an idiot making inflammatory arguments.
    Prison is a punishment - removing the freedom to live your life. Whether someone is dangerous or not has no relevance...There's a reason why poor, homeless people don't commit murder in order to get "free room and board" at the local penitentiary: Being incarcerated is a real punishment and on top of that, a _deterrent_ to other people who may be tempted to commit the same crime.
    Since you're a nerd arguing on Slashdot, if a criminal burned down your house, destroyed your computer and any backups you have, would you be satisfied with them replacing the monetary value of the house and computer? If so, I wish I (like many people) had a extra few hundred thousand dollars. Then I could track you down, burn down your house, destroy all your property and cut you a cheque, for the damage and continue on with my life. Hopefully it would take less than this to illustrate the sheer idiocy of allowing people to commit non-violent crime and avoid punishment simply by reimbursing the victims in cash, i.e. a different system of justice for rich and non-rich people.
    I bet you're American.

  • Re:Madoff is content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Miseph ( 979059 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:39PM (#28523515) Journal

    Ok, I have mod points assigned, and I was going to spend them, but I just have to respond.

    FCI Loretto. I've been there, I've seen it. It may not be Camp Mead, but it's still pretty swanky for a prison. The deer living in that valley will actually eat from your hand, they're so used to people walking around not hurting them. Many of the inmates are bankers, lawyers, politicians or businessmen who got caught committing low violence high dollar crimes (like investment fraud), although there are also some high profile Mafia types.

    Maybe no golf course, but it's hardly hell on Earth.

  • Re:Tricky -- NOT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:42PM (#28523535) Homepage Journal
    From your post, I'm pretty sure you've never had to get health care in the U.S. for someone who didn't have any money. Correct?

    There are some sicknesses that socialized healthcare either will not cover or will not cover thoroughly enough to really cure.

    Name one.

    In the U.K., under the NICE system, they set a price limit on every condition. If they can save a year of life for about $50,000, they will do it. If it costs more than that, NICE recommends against it, but if people complain about it, the government usually gives in and pays for it anyway. They try to avoid giving out $100,000 drugs that have minimal effectiveness, but they treat long-term conditions better than we do in the U.S.

    The U.K. is the cheapest, stingiest system in Europe. Sweden probably has the best care in the world.

    But even in the US you can usually get on so many programs and with the aid of various non-profits and a good story in the newspaper or TV news station get enough help to get the care you need.

    I just spent several days on the phone over the last few months trying to help a friend of mine who lost his job and health insurance get on Medicaid, so I know something about what actually happens. The city welfare agency just delayed his application for months. He had one condition that required lifetime medication to save his life, so it was a serious business. I made half a dozen calls to those non-profits and got nowhere.

    But don't take my word for it. Here's a story in the Wall Street Journal that demonstrates how you can die in the U.S. if you can't afford health care. [] The WSJ had a whole series like that. (This is for people who don't believe Michael Moore.)

    Granted, you will probably be in debt till you die, but even if you are poor you can usually *get* the initial treatments

    As the WSJ story shows, that's not true.

    but with socialized healthcare you get placed in "review hell" because A) the doctors get paid the same really no matter what they do and B) there are many other doctors/clinics.

    So how come the Mayo Clinic, where doctors are on salary and get paid the same whatever they do, has some of the best outcomes in the country?

    If you say you need antibiotics for something, chances are in the US you can get them for whatever weak reason,

    That's supposed to be a benefit? If you take antibiotics when you don't need them, you're growing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which could kill you later.

    with socialized healtcare if you have a non-common illness the answer will always be to wait longer.

    Ridiculous. I just read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in which French doctors described how they were treating cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome in their socialist system. Is that non-common enough for you? They were using canakinumab, which will probably cost tens of thousands of dollars per year.

  • Re:Good... although (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:45PM (#28523559)

    And that's why he's still playing innocent. If he coughs up the rest of the money, his wife, his family, and his lawyers suddenly have to scrounge for a living like honest people.

    He needs his family to keep the money out of the hands of the cops, and his lawyers to keep he family clear of the cops as well. Both of those groups need Bernie to keep his mouth closed abou the remaining money. There is no surprise that they're all keeping quiet about the rest of the money.

  • Re:No, but maybe... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @11:57PM (#28524025) Homepage Journal

    Actually even the why its inflated is pretty easy to answer- 401Ks. In the 80s 401Ks came into being, causing a lot of small time investors to put their money in the market, where previously it would go into CDs and other small investments. More money going into the market chasing the same shares causes price inflation by simple supply and demand.

    Good point. The money would act much like the easing of credit/loans for housing. More potential buyers, driving the price up.

    Another problem I see is that rather than having relatively few investors, all intensely interested in the running of the company - you get a smaller cadre of proxy voters on the behalf of all those investors buying mutual funds consisting of dozens, hundreds of stocks.

    Those proxy voters might be better educated, but they're also part of a clique, might not have the best interest of the actual owner of the stock in mind.

    Oh, and I remember reading a month ago comparing executive pay to sports coach pay.

    Basically, paying CEOs with Stock Options is like paying sports coaches based on the odds the bookies are placing - Stock prices are anticipatory, much like gambling odds.

    He advocated paying CEOs on actual performance - net profit, health of the company(IE capital asset level), rather than paying them based on stock price level - it's too easy for a CEO to generate at least a short boost in stock prices, then when it crashes and burns, take the golden parachute and leave for the next company.

  • Re:Good... although (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ralphdaugherty ( 225648 ) <> on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @12:49AM (#28524359) Homepage

          I'm saying the government can't find or account for most of the recent money, so they're saying look, look what a lavish life style he lived to divert attention from what they don't want to admit.

          It couldn't have been a Ponzi scheme because he didn't pay it out. The math isn't there to account for it. But Ponzi scheme is the easiest thing to call it so that's what they're doing. And of course Madoff himself is caling it that. That he self describes something that no one understands and explains nothing about it should be clue one for everyone. But people prefer the spectacle to hearing that no one understands where the money is.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @02:58AM (#28525041)

    Is slashdot a madoff like ponzi scheme? Well maybe, maybe not...

    I'm guessing some people are investing their time typing in comments into slashdot in the hopes to get payed back in kudos which can grant them moderator points and attention on story submissions which makes slashdot more readable (thus improving the visiblity of their funny and insightful comments). Being naive, those people think that their kudos are banked and recorded by slashdot. But what if the moderator points being given out the old-timer really aren't because of their comments or story submissions (because as old timers are out-of-touch) but being paid out to the old-timers even though newbies make the most new investment (submit all the kool stories and have all the funny and insightful comments).

    Could slashdot itself could just be a ponzi scheme? The newbie feel that their kudos are being banked, but is their time investment really being paid out in moderator points the original old-timers? That's the definition of a pyramid or ponzi scheme...

    If so, how can this ponzi scheme collapse? Maybe newbies will get upset and wonder why all their kudos don't result in moderator points, they complain and stop writing insightful comments and submitting kool stories. When this happens everything goes to hell and nobody wants to read slashdot anymore. Then all those people who spent their time writing comments for kudos get screwed as the potential ponzi scheme collapses and their investment in writing funny and insightful comments goes for naught.

    Meanwhile, the slashdot editors are aggregating all the commentors investment in kudos and trading them to advertizers for dollars and skimming those dollar and spending thier time in other ways that should instead be invested back into editing slashdot. Hmm... Maybe there's something to this...

    (posting anon for obvious reasons ;^)

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.