Bernard Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years

Bump and Update: Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years in prison. The probation report had recommended 50 years. He is likely to do his time in a medium security prison. Possibilities, according to prison expert Alan Ellis: "FCI Otisville or FCI Ray Brook, both in upstate New York, FCI Fairton in New Jersey or FCI McKean in Pennsylvania."


Sentencing Day for Bernie Madoff

Bernard Madoff will be sentenced today. The government is seeking 150 years. The defense is seeking 12 years, arguing that considering his age, it's an effective life sentence. Ruth Madoff has agreed to forfeit around $80 million (including the Park Ave coop, the Montauk home and the Palm Beach home) in exchange for $2.5 million.

Here are the relevant pleadings:


The judge also granted a request by Bernie's lawyers to have clothing brought to the jail for him to wear at sentencing. So you can expect him to look dapper (unless he's lost a lot of weight.) Some victims will get a chance to speak. He will apologize. His family (wisely in my view, for their own sanity given the press and victims in attendance) won't attend.

I think the Government's position is absurd. But, given the mass hysteria over the case, I suspect his sentence will be a lot higher than 12 years.

Pro Publica (via MSNBC) reports Madoff may not have been the primary beneficiary of his scheme: a client named Jeffry Picower allegedly withdrew $5.1 billion from accounts with Madoff.

All in all, the sentencing should be quite satisfying for those who want their pound of flesh. Personally, I don't see how any financial crime justifies a life sentence. In fact, as I wrote at the time, I don't even get why Madoff pleaded guilty. What more could they have done to him if he had gone to trial and lost? At least he would have had another year or two of liberty while on bond. He didn't even get an agreement not to prosecute his family members.

And I'm equally appalled by the sentences Enron's Jeff Skilling, WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers, and Adelphia's John Rigas received. In additon, just like the death penalty, these huge sentences don't seem to be much of a deterrent to others.

Bottom line: As I wrote at the time he agreed to plead guilty:

My prediction: Madoff will go to jail Thursday, never to be released again. And, no matter how much money the government forfeits, not every victim will be made whole.

< Wards Cove II: Congress Must Overturn SCOTUS' Ricci Decision | Schumer Presser On SCOTUS' Ricci Decision >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Mikeb302000 on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:22:19 AM EST
    I think it's the result of hysteria to suggest guys like these should spend their lives in prison. In fact, I go even further, and suggest they should not do time at all. White collar criminals can be more sensibly punished, in my opinion.

    Fines and restitution to the point of penury followed by strict government supervision to avoid recidivism is the answer.

    In my opinion he completely (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:05:52 AM EST
    destroyed the fabric of multiple people's lives.  He pushed some of them completely over the edge of sanity.  What he did was employ a more socially acceptable sort of violence.

    I am afraid that Madoff (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:49:36 PM EST
    as bad as the stuff he did was, has become the scapegoat that lets the rest of the Wall Street crooks, who have managed to swindle nearly $13 Trillion (almost the entire US GDP for 2008) out of US taxpayers with the help of Obama and Geithner, off the hook.

    I wouldn't attempt to defend what he did, but he's 71 years old, and 10 or 15 years would have effectively been a life without parole sentence...


    Yep, Madoff gets 150 yrs for his Ponzi Scheme (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Lori J on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:22:38 PM EST
    and AIG (and its Ponzi scheming cronies at Goldman, Merrill, BoA, Citi...) got about $170 billion plus!

    I intend to vote against everyone on (none / 0) (#70)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:27:17 PM EST
    my ballot who favored the AIG/Bankers bailout. How about you?

    The rest of Wall Street (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:24:03 PM EST
    came up with various ways to dress up their rip off in legality.  Bernie, not so much :)  It was that dressing up that didn't fool me.  Something smelled vile and rotten to me with all that derrivative business, and tipped me off to pull out.  But at least with the rest of Wall Street there were things to ask questions about.  Perhaps there was with Bernie too.  Who knows? I wasn't a client, didn't have that kind of cash. But where would someone start?

    Where would someone start? (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:31:41 PM EST
    You mean with Madoff and his scheme? I don't know really, except that maybe the ROI he was promising was so high that it should maybe have set off "too good to be true means it probably is" alarms in people?

    And if you were okay with conning (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:35:33 PM EST
    people wouldn't you want to be in early with Bernie, get your ROI and then bail out?  I wonder who on Wall Street had Bernie pegged much earlier?

    I wonder who on Wall Street (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 04:09:58 PM EST
    didn't have Bernie pegged much earlier?  ;-)

    Here's a big winner.... (none / 0) (#102)
    by desertswine on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:34:43 PM EST
    GE wins big.

    While everyone else loses. If you invent the game, you win it.

    General Electric, the world's largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government's key rescue programs for banks.


    House Rule #1 (none / 0) (#129)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:34:04 PM EST
    You can't beat the house... ;-)

    Do you think the same would be appropriate (none / 0) (#29)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:58:42 AM EST
    for a guy who knocked over a bank or stuck up a convenience store for some cash, or is it only the robbers in nice suits who get a get out of jail for cash deal?

    Equal Justice for ALL (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by SteveT on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 08:24:51 AM EST
    I am pleasantly surprised whenever some well-to-do, white-collar criminal gets the book thrown at him.

    Like Skilling, Ebbers and Rigas, Madoff ripped off thousands of people.  Would there be similar calls for compassion for a 19 year old black man who had burglarized a thousand different homes?  Of course not.

    Financial oversight is a joke.  Wealthy people emerge from civil suits still pretty wealthy.  And there is no longer any such thing as public shunning of evildoers.  The only thing that will protect investors -- and maintain faith in a system that depends on good faith -- is a well-founded fear that those who abuse the investors' trust will go to prison for a long, long time.

    true (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:10:57 AM EST
    although I have a nagging feeling that if he had not ripped off a bunch of other rich people his punishment would  not have been as severe.

    It was Woody Guthrie (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Sweet Sue on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:01:15 AM EST
    Who said, "some men rob you with a gun
               some with a fountain pen."
    Haven't a few people committed suicide because of Madoff's betrayal?

    willfullness (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by candideinnc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:07:00 AM EST
    Many crimes are the result of no willful act on the part of the criminal:  crimes of passion, crimes under the influence, crimes done in desperation, crimes done by mentally impaired.  Sometimes the background of the criminal is relevant, where they were raised in such circumstances as to foster the criminal act.

    We have here a man who has no excuse other than his greed for theft on a grand scale.  He knowingly destroyed the future security of hundreds of people.  The fact that there are some other greedy b*stards that get away with their crimes without appropriate punishment is no good argument, in my eyes, for letting this one off with anything less than the full sentence.  

    Malicious intent (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:27:56 PM EST
    was there with every single solitary dollar he accepted. He planned to steal every bit of everything he conned people into placing in his control.

    I'm glad he didn't do anything to protect his family. If they were in on it (and I firmly believe his wife knew he was a thief), they need to go to trial and/or prison, as well.


    My own $0.02 (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:35:16 PM EST
    Madoff's sons are up to their eyeballs in this, which is why he went qithout a fight - my tin foil hat conspiracy tells me that he, while guilty as sin, is taking the complete fall for his sons. Plus I think he will get a deal to serve in a prison close to home.

    If they end up living in complete (none / 0) (#47)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:40:53 PM EST
    poverty, that would be just fine. I hope they can't find work, friends or a decent night's sleep if they were in that deep. I also believe his wife was a full partner with him.

    kdog (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:55:19 PM EST
    you know we love you around here, and love sparring with you, but sometimes it seems that you have more sympathy for criminals who are (and desrve to be) locked up than their victims.  Even if some of Madoff's investors aren't the nicest of people, they didn't deserve for this jacka$$ to rip them off.

    Take for example:

    Michael Schwartz, who joined the scheme to help his brother, could not hold back the tears as he told the court: "My trust fund wasn't for a house in the Hamptons, a yacht or Mets seats. Part of that money was for my brother who is mentally disabled ... His jail cell should become his coffin."

    Even the judge thinks 150 years really isn't enough:

    Judge Chin said he wanted to award the maximum sentence in recognition of the duration and scale of the crime which lost investors $65million when Madoff confessed that the entire scheme was based on a lie.

    "The symbolism of the sentence is important for three reasons: retribution, deterrence and it is important for the victims," he said.

    "I do not agree that the victims are succumbing to the temptation of mob vengeance."

    Judge Chin said he was particularly affected by one victim's letter from a widow who was reassured by Madoff after the death of her husband that her money was "safe" with him.

    Maureen Ebel, one of Madoff's victims told the court: "I have lost all of my life's hard-earned savings. I have lost the home my husband and I had owned for 25 years because of this theft. I have lost the ability to care for myself in this old age."

    Whoops! (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:56:19 PM EST
    Responding to wrong thread -

    I gotcha JB... (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:09:00 PM EST
    my sympathies lie with the belief that human beings don't belong in cages unless they give us no other choice...I got no love for Bernie I assure you, he took a nice hunk of change from my hometown baseball team:) The guy is a greedy sc*mbag, obviously, but greedy sc*mbags don't concern me as much as our society and how we deal with sc*mbags like Madoff...if you can catch my drift.

    As for Mr. Schwartz in your link...he blew his trust fund gambling when it was meant to care for his brother.  My old man would call that risking money you can't afford to lose...the cardinal sin of gambling. I hope he learns and his brother does not suffer from the combo of Madoff's crimes and his brother's mistake.  

    I could use a trust fund myself, my great uncle is starting to slip in his mid-eighties and will require more help as the months and years past.  But its cool, I'll do what other working stiffs without trust funds do...care for him myself with the help of the rest of the fam. I won't take the money meant to buy him some groceries and play the pick-six or give it to a hedge-fund manager...I'll tell ya that much...that would be crazy.  


    gambling? (none / 0) (#133)
    by candideinnc on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 06:37:56 AM EST
    Unfortunately, much of what constitutes "saving for old age" in this capitalist economy does amount to gambling.  When I put money in my retirement accounts, they always tell me there are no assurances of income.  My Ph.D. was in the arts, not in finance, and I admit to being an ignoramus in that field.  I have tried to get the best advice I could to make investments, but who is to say that I am not taking advice from the wrong people?  Evidently, that is what Madoff's clients did.

    I don't think there is any justification in blaming the victims of this b*stard. A cage for a life destroying piece of vermin seems appropriate.


    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Spamlet on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:57:27 AM EST
    I earnestly hope that Bernie Madoff rots in his cell, both in this world and beyond, for eternity. Aloha.


    Bernie got what was coming to him (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:03:01 AM EST

    Yup. That should wipe the smirk (none / 0) (#27)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:44:29 AM EST
    off of his face.

    Brief (none / 0) (#118)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:48:05 PM EST
    and to the point.

    Some things never change (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:09:29 AM EST
    Granted he is a crook. But again the government goes after the end result rather than the source. Enron, World Com and this guy could never have accomplished what they did if the government hadn't turned a blind eye. Where were the government agencies that were designed to monitor business? Have any of them been held accountable? What new laws or regulations have been enacted since Enron in 2000, to protect the public interest?

    The attitude of "let business alone to do business" is a total disaster.

    Personally, I don't see how any financial crime (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Continuum on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:25:32 AM EST
    " . . . . Personally, I don't see how any financial crime justifies a life sentence."

    Madoff has destroyed the lives of thousands of people just as surely as if he had taken out a gun and shot them.

    Just because someone literally destroys your means of life with a pen and paper, does not make you any less destitute.

    Madoff's victims include aged pensioners, as well as numerous charities.  People who are now no longer able to recover from his crime.

    May he live out the rest of his days in a cell and thereafter rot in hell.

    Easy on the hyperbole... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:42:03 AM EST
    A bullet to the head destoys life...an empty bank account is not the end of the world, its just being broke.  It sucks, but is a far cry from a bullet to the head.

    Getting conned out of your money only "destroys life" if you base the value of your life on your bank account balance...and if you do, you've got bigger problems than money problems.


    For most I'd agree (none / 0) (#28)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:57:06 AM EST
    but what about retirees who watched the work of a lifetime disappear overnight.

    It's sad... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    but they aren't the only ones who must work till they day they die, and they also are not blameless.

    Lets not pretend Bernie Madoff broke down their doors and emptied their safe, or stole their account numbers and emptied them...these "victims" handed over their life savings willingly on a pipe-dream of big returns, and are paying dearly for that mistake.  

    But make no mistake, it was a mistake on their part, just as it is my mistake to put my life savings on a horse race where the fix is in...you're begging for something bad to happen.


    You understand, don't you (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:03:27 PM EST
    that many of these retirees didn't individually make the choice to invest with Madoff, don't you?  That their pensions were placed in funds where some fund manager made the decision?  This wasn't Jane, a retired school teacher, whose pension is with the state, just decided one day to invest with Madoff - those people had absolutely no control over where their money was invested.

    Thats a whole 'nother problem jb... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:23:37 PM EST
    that has nothing to do with Madoff.  If you have money that is not in your possession or control, it is not your money at all.  Your a ward of whoever you surrendered control too, and at their mercy.

    Anybody surrendering their livelyhood to a fund manager, or the state, or Bernie Madoff is playing with fire in my book.  Don't cry "woe is me" when you get burned playing with fire...learn from your error.  Take responsibility for your own survival...don't outsource it to thieves in Brooks Brothers ties.

    It is for precisely these reasons I won't touch a 401K with a ten-foot pole, nor will I bank on a SS check ever arriving in my mailbox...these things are far too beyond my control.  To paraphrase John Lennon..."I don't believe in hedge funds or state-run pensions...I just believe in me."  

    Granted, absent a sh*tload of luck or serious penny-pinching this likely means a very meager retirement for yours truly, if I could retire at all...but I'm ok with that, such is life.  There are worse things than working till the day you die to sustain your existence...like surrendering your sovereignty and the fate of your existence to hedge-fund managers.


    well (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:43:40 PM EST
    the reality is that almost everyone has a 401K.  the life you describe may work for you but it would not work for most people and those people have every right to expect that their pensions and 401Ks are not going to be raided.

    saying the deserve it just because they did not stuff their retirement in their mattress is a little short sighted.  IMO.


    People can expect whatever they want.... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:48:55 PM EST
    out of their 401k hustle...just saying realize you're playing with fire, and are at the mercy of a rigged market, and its not rigged in your favor or with your comfy retirement in mind.

    See comment #57 above (none / 0) (#61)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:57:29 PM EST
    Not really (none / 0) (#53)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:46:36 PM EST
    "Almost everyone". What percentage would that be of adults in this country?

    Small employers have no 401K offerings, and small employers employ the majority of people.


    You can blame the victims (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:47:41 PM EST
    all you want - they should have been smarter, their greed led them to this end - but they broke no laws, as far as I know.  Madoff did break the law, even if he was not breaking down doors and hoovering up other people's money.

    Madoff broke the law.

    Even if the government had been better about oversight of these runaway hedge funds, would it change the fact that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme?  No.

    We all live with the consequences of our actions, and this is Madoff's consequence for his actions.  The thousands of people he bilked out of their life savings and their hopes to retire are certainly suffering the consequences of their decision - or the decision of some pension fund managers - to invest with Madoff, but isn't it a tad ironic that and in some respects, Madoff still makes out better?  He isn't going to be worrying about paying any bills - he's got room and board and medical care courtesy of the taxpayers.

    He also had a choice to fight the charges against him, to mount a defense.  No point in boo-hooing about the unfairness of the sentence when he's the one who chose to go this route.

    It may have been a mistake for people to invest with Madoff, but what Madoff did with other people's money was a crime.


    No aergument... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:56:17 PM EST
    Madoff broke the law...I am of the opinion that the sentence is not only excessive, but ludicrous.

    And I'm not thrilled about locking him up for the rest of his life when he is no longer a danger to anybody...I worry about what that says about us, the American people.  We value the mere appearance of fairness and legitimacy in our "money out of money" industry more than flesh and blood, even the flesh and blood of a con-man.  That's sad.


    "he is no longer a danger to anybody" (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:14:24 PM EST
    and what about all the people whos lives he basically stole?  what do you think should happen to the guy?

    You really do make very understandable (none / 0) (#65)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:11:14 PM EST
    points in your arguments. I'm wondering, though, what do you believe should happen to him and the wealth he claims to have accumulated for his wife and sons?

    I'd allow the state... (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:52:29 PM EST
    to seize all ill-gotten gains and divy it up amongst the people he conned...no problem with that.

    I just don't see the need to cage the guy for anything more than a year or so....the fact 150 years in a cage was even uttered in a court of law kinda turns my stomach, especially without a corpse to be seen....wtf is wrong with us?


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:26:24 PM EST
    From what I remember, there were several suicides because of the losses incurred by Madoff's crimes. Don't those corspes (and their families) count?

    Of course they count... (none / 0) (#86)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:41:34 PM EST
    we all count...but do we wanna stretch it so far to blame Madoff for a suicide, punish him for a suicide?  When a brokenhearted lover commits suicide, should we blame the person that dumped them?  Of course not.

    Not a danger? (none / 0) (#104)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:44:39 PM EST
    Who cares if he is no longer a danger?
    A former prison guard at a WW2 concentration camp is no longer a danger either. Should they not suffer the consequences of their actions?

    Bush is no longer a danger either.
    But I think he should be prosecuted and put away from now until the sun burns the earth into a crisp.


    That's where we differ... (none / 0) (#108)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:57:58 PM EST
    my friend...no longer a danger is good enough for me, if I need vengeance and revenge I'll have the decency to get it myself.  I have no problem with one of the fleeced pummeling the guy if thats what they gotta do...he's got it coming.  

    But not chains, cages, and yes torture to these degrees...not even my worst enemy.  The sc*m of the earth just ain't worth making all the earth sc*mmy.


    I guess one could say (none / 0) (#112)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:15:46 PM EST
    it is better to have street justice than the government in the business of putting people in cages....

    White collar criminals....can be neutralized by making it impossible for them to participate in society except on a minimum wage basis.  We live in a society that is so dependent on the good will of others, that if you take that away, you ruin that person's life.  Just cancelling someone's credit cards, and making it impossible to get another one, would create havoc in most people's lives....


    Beholder (none / 0) (#114)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:34:24 PM EST
    What you call vengeance is what others would call justice.

    The other solution, one of the victims beating the sh-t out of Madoff, would be a problem because it is illegal. We are not supposed to be one person lynch mobs. We are supposed to have a justice system.

    What Madoff did was criminal.
    His sentences run consecutively.
    That's the way it goes.
    It usually goes that way only for the poor.
    This time it landed on Madoff.
    Once in awhile the system throws one of their own to the wolves.
    It gives the impression that there is equal justice.
    Then things go on as before.

    But that doesn't mean that Madoff doesn't deserve to be removed from society for the next 15 decades.


    was he not also (none / 0) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:01:35 PM EST
    into some "funds" that people may not have given him directly?

    And those women who go out drinking (none / 0) (#64)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:09:36 PM EST
    arent the only ones who get raped, so really aren't they kind of asking for it.

    How do you feel about this, kdog? (none / 0) (#105)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:50:50 PM EST
    "Chin said he was especially moved by a letter he got describing how Madoff conned an 86-year-old widow by putting his arm around her "and in a kindly manner told her not to worry, that the money is safe with me."

    This is theft - up close and personal.
    A powerful man, with credentials as a former chairman of Nasdaq, stealing from a vulnerable elderly woman.


    He's a piece of sh*t.... (none / 0) (#115)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:36:46 PM EST
    I've said it.  

    Sad tale, there are some amongst the fleeced, some others I've seen are of the more pathetic or "I lost the 3 million dollar trust, now I have to work!" variety.  And as much as I despise people who pick on old ladies, with the great freedom I desire comes great responsibility...even for old ladies. You gotta watch your back while gambling.  Especially with guys in sharp suits who tell ya you can't lose...run when that happens.

    His fleecing of old lady days are over, thats the important thing.


    Honestly (none / 0) (#132)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 06:13:22 AM EST
    if I worked my entire life to be able to provide a better life for my kids and grandkids, and you robbed me of that... at some point I'd prefer you just put a bullet in my head instead, to tell the truth.

    So he's going to serve one year, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by SOS on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:45:39 PM EST
    and then one year for each of his 149 other cohorts in big finance and "elsewhere" who get off free with a pile of bailout cash.

    Only in America

    Exactly (none / 0) (#76)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:03:39 PM EST
    Bernie taketh all their sins upon himself so that we can all feel cleansed and righteous for a few days.

    I hope he takes this oppurtunity to reflect and eventually sing like a bird of paradise in estrus -- before someone shuts him up -- cuz, he's just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.


    There are (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Natal on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:48:43 PM EST
    a lot people who made money by getting out early. It would be interesting to hear what they say now.
    Any reports come out?

    This is a very interesting point... (none / 0) (#125)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 08:54:56 PM EST
    it's going to be interesting to see how far the Feds go in following the money line...

    my guess is that they won't go nearly far enough...probably just the Madoff family and that's about it...

    the people who got out early stole money too, they need to be held accountable...it's basically akin to insider trading if they had any inkling something was wrong and just took their money plus interest without saying anything...


    I'm not a fan of prisons (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:27:52 PM EST
    Only the violent should be encarcerated.  The object should be the protection of society....

    We put way too many people in prison.  

    White collar offenders can be punished by taking away all their money and making them work for minimum wage by performing community service for the length of the sentence:  1 yr, 2yrs, life, etc.

    The prosecution of drug offenses should be severely curtailed.  Those caught selling can be made to volunteer in re-hab clinics, sweeping floors, etc.  Or, put them in orange vests to pick up litter.

    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:56:45 PM EST
    Madoff as janitor for life.  Six days a week.  

    It saves us a lot of money.  It gives him a long time to contemplate his own heinous crimes...


    I suppose (none / 0) (#111)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:09:51 PM EST
    the counter argument is that if Madoff is not punished by putting him in a cage, people will take justice into their own hands.  We don't want mobs prowling our cities, dishing out street justice.

    But we can do better than that as a society.


    I don't get it. (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:31:05 PM EST
    There seems to be a general feeling that poor old Bernie is the victim and that his victims are the greedy ones.

    What about this?:
    "Chin said he was especially moved by a letter he got describing how Madoff conned an 86-year-old widow by putting his arm around her "and in a kindly manner told her not to worry, that the money is safe with me."

    Let us remember that Madoff was a former CHAIRMAN of the NASDAQ! That carries some weight. That implies the supervision of governmental agencies. It's not the normal con where the victim knowingly goes along with something that he/she has reason to believe might be illegal.

    The only piece missing from the puzzle is the ineptitude, deliberate or not, of the governmental agencies who let this go down. I hope that the Obama administration doesn't choose this as another chance to "look forward" and do nothing.

    I dont get it (none / 0) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:59:09 PM EST
    either.  personally I cant think of anyone in years who so richly deserved every single day of his sentence.

    Lynchmob (4.00 / 1) (#30)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:59:16 AM EST
    Vengeance must be hard wired. Oh well, must be some sort of genetic defect I have because 150 years seems barbaric to me.

    It's the bourgeouis (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:09:22 PM EST
    version of a drive-by: no one gets dirty and the illusory order of things is temporarily restored.

    No sympathy (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:25:07 AM EST
    He intentionally $crewed people out of billions of dollars. My heart weeps (NOT) for his wife and family to have to give up $80 million - Boo hoo.

    150 years isn't enough for scum like him.

    150 years is quite a bit of time. (none / 0) (#6)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 08:33:51 AM EST
    But considering the people whose life savings were stolen by this guy, it seems adequate.

    I don't understand the idea behind identifying someone like Madoff as a "white collar" criminal. The only difference would appear to be the lack of use of a deadly weapon. But what kind of sentence would a minority person, even using a toy pistol, get for holding up a local store - or a bank? Multiply that by the number of incidences of theft perpetrated by Madoff.

    It's almost as if some feel that the enormity of what Madoff did entitles him to some kind of special consideration. Like dropping the bomb on a populated city is judged differently than one individual shooting another.

    This guy did not steal money from me.
    But I know how I would feel if all of my savings were to have been taken from me and my family would have no means of support. It could feel like a death sentence. As you know, some of the victims of the former NASDAQ chief killed themselves.

    The other sense of anger that I feel is that the governmental agencies who were supposed to be protecting us looked the other way. If they looked at all. They should all be prosecuted as well.

    It does (none / 0) (#7)
    by nyjets on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 08:54:53 AM EST
    "Personally, I don't see how any financial crime justifies a life sentence."

    When a financial crimes destoys the lives of others, a life sentence is totally reasonable.
    THe only difference between Bernie Madoff and other bank robbers is how they commit there crimes.

    That's an argument.. (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:10:11 AM EST
    for shorter sentences for bankrobbers, not longer sentences for white collar thieves, imo.  

    And not for nothing, if you allowed yourself to be put in the position to "have your life destroyed" by Bernie Madoff, you are far from an innocent victim, you have some responsibility to bear.  Greed, gluttony, willfull stupidity to name a few sins.


    Do you blame rape victims (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:11:49 PM EST
    for wearing a short skirt and going out to a bar?

    Classy SS... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:43:06 PM EST
    and not worth a response.

    Amazing (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:52:18 PM EST
    Must be that so many of these commenters are worried about  losing their piles of gambling money, and have heavy identification with the suckers who stuck with Madoff, ergo a lynch mob for Madoff.

    Desperate argument in bringing up a rape analogy, although maybe losing money is just like getting raped to at least one commenter here.


    Something is rotten... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:06:13 PM EST
    in the national psyche squeaky...Madoff is merely a symptom, he ain't the disease....the disease is much bigger than Madoff and more symptoms abound in this thread.

    Who knew there was a right to make money outta money without working?  I can't believe the founders forgot that one!


    Yeah (none / 0) (#85)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:35:35 PM EST
    As long as the ponzi scheme is working everyone is dumb and happy, once it goes sour it is time to burn the witches.

    kdog and Squeaky (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:32:57 PM EST
    You offer some good points, especially kdog, about making money from money, and about the real prospects of anyone being able to retire. Indeed, retirement seems to have been for two generations: the ones that fought the two world wars. The rest of us will be working till we drop.

    But consider this remark:

    Must be that so many of these commenters are worried about  losing their piles of gambling money, and have heavy identification with the suckers who stuck with Madoff, ergo a lynch mob for Madoff.

    That is--sorry--just plain stupid, on more levels than can be addressed in the space available for a comment. Mean-spirited to boot.

    And here's a news flash for kdog: investing is not supposed to be gambling. It's supposed to be one element, involving some risk, in a smoothly working capitalist system. You may or may not believe that capitalism is a good system. Either way, what Madoff was engaged in--like Enron, AIG, and all the rest--was not capitalism. They are the ones who were gambling, with other people's money, when they weren't committing outright theft.

    Anyway, I'm done. Probably best if the two of you just continue to talk between yourselves.


    Not Just Investors (none / 0) (#87)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:44:48 PM EST
    But suckers. Madoff's allure was that outsiders, jews in particular, if accepted by Madoff and willing to stick with him, would have keys to the country club. And by country club, I mean keys to the highest social circles in America and the world. Of course everyone knows that those "keys" are reserved and held in a lockbox, none of Madoff's clients nor Madoff could crack that circle.

    Ergo suckers.


    Silly me (5.00 / 4) (#88)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:48:54 PM EST
    I thought it was all about the money.

    Had no idea it was all about the Jews.


    No (none / 0) (#90)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 04:00:18 PM EST
    It in much of his business, it was not about the money, of course until it was all lost. Madoff was promising something all the money in the world cannot buy and that is entry into the tippity top social circles. Most super rich jews, et al,  know that they need not apply because the door is locked and bolted no matter what they wear, how they eat or what school they went to or how many picassos are in their art collection.

    Madoff played these suckers. Guaranteed in any other dealings his investors would have scrutinized the fine print, instead of looking the other way.


    Juppies. (none / 0) (#121)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:06:43 PM EST
    I get it.
    Super rich Jews wanted to be accepted into the Gentile social circles. They were prone to trust Madoff because he was Jewish.
    What suckers.

    Kinda like Black people voting for Obama?


    Poor Comparison (none / 0) (#122)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:13:12 PM EST
    Obviously over your head... But have it your way, as I know that any opportunity to slam Obama makes you feel good. What's it like to have something political in common with Rush?

    Good Piece (none / 0) (#120)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:02:21 PM EST
    Ron Rosenbaum, Where Are the Jewish Gangsters of Yesteryear?
    Or, what we can learn about "respectability" from Bernie Madoff and Meyer Lansky.

    Take Meyer Lansky, or rather "Hyman Roth," Lee Strasberg's version of Lansky in The Godfather 2. What is it we like about him? The TV dinner tray! He runs the world's underground financial system, an illicit stock exchange and banking system combined, but what he likes most is the simple life at home in front of the tube with his wife. Sure, he'll enjoy an evening from time to time at one of his luxe Cuban casinos, but country clubs? Please. You knew Meyer Lansky wouldn't care whether he got into this or that Palm Beach Country Club, wouldn't care about hobnobbing with the respectable--i.e., Wall Street-approved--gangsters.

    And this cartoon is quite funny too..


    Life is gambling A.F.... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:49:39 PM EST
    you take the time to sow a field and hope it rains so your gamble pays off and you eat the fruits of your labor when you "win", and suffer hunger when you "lose".  See what I mean?  Life is a gamble...the sooner we realize this the better we'll all be.  This is natural law, we can't change it, may as well embrace it.

    I agree 100% that our system cannot be called a true free market capitalist system...I've taken to calling it the rigged market system made to look "free" to the casual eye, but upon further investigation you see all kinds of strings being pulled for all the right people.


    Key word: here: "supposed" (none / 0) (#92)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 04:38:24 PM EST
    as in, supposed by those who have been indoctrinated or taken that leap of faith required to believe capitalism is a "smoothly running system."

    And these kinds of things: ie, Madoff, aren't supposed to happen; just as Bernie, Im sure believed -- with alot more captalist accumen than anyone here -- that he wasnt supposed to get caught.


    Yes, in many cases (none / 0) (#23)
    by Spamlet on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:22:32 AM EST
    if you allowed yourself to be put in the position to "have your life destroyed" by Bernie Madoff, you are far from an innocent victim, you have some responsibility to bear.  Greed, gluttony, willfull stupidity to name a few sins.

    But there were people and charities that had no idea they were exposed to Madoff's predations, because they did not directly invest with Madoff. They owned funds that had some exposure to Madoff.


    I can sympathize... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:34:32 AM EST
    but only too a point...I don't think charities should be in the gambling business, and still call themselves charities at least.

    As for people who were in a fund connected to Madoff, they too have a responsibility to know what the hell they are investing in...otherwise you're begging to be the next sucker.

    Instead of high-fiving at a con-man getting 150 years in a cage, which I think borders on authoritarian barbarism, maybe we should be questioning the flaw in a financial system increasingly based on making money out of money, instead of the honest money-making of providing goods and services of value.

    I'll save the real sympathy for the hard-working people who don't have two nickels to rub together at retirement time, much less the roll and connections to get hooked up with a Madoff in the first place.


    That's the point, isn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Spamlet on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:00:41 PM EST
    we should be questioning the flaw in a financial system increasingly based on making money out of money

    And I completely agree with most of the rest of what you said.

    But--much as I deplore the feds' dereliction and, now, their bloodthirsty, scapegoating, @ss-covering overreaction--I can't bring myself to lay a blanket condemnation on the victims of Madoff's crimes.


    No shame in it really... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    it happens everyday...who hasn't been ripped off in their life, who hasn't been suckered? I have, it sucks and hurts the pride, but life goes on, hopefully with the lesson learned...a fool and his money are easily parted, a greedy fool who sees dollar signs even more so.

    And yeah, that is the point, but most of the making money out of money racket is totally legal.


    I can't wait until you're 55, (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:28:57 PM EST
    still working your tail off, trying to support a family, pay a mortgage... and you realize how little your ideology and ignorance (based on total lack of experience) prepared you for real life.

    To posit that lives have not been ruined, or that the repsonsibility lies solely with the investors (many of whom did not directly invest with Madoff) is just silly and immature.


    I hope I'm lucky enough... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:42:44 PM EST
    to be 55 and working.  But I didn't say Madoff is blameless, only that the investors bear some responsibility.  And lives were not "ruined", kushy retirements were ruined.  It sucks to have to get a job at 65 or 70, but I wouldn't call it "ruin"...inoperable brain cancer is ruin, death is ruin, being broke doesn't rate....otherwise more than half the people on earth are "ruined" without even knowing it.  

    From where I'm sitting I'm the only one accepting "real life"...the grown-ups believe in hedge-fund benefactors and 20+ year retirements on a golf course.  That's the fantasy in my book...I'm preparing for and living reality.


    I don't know if you've noticed yet, (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:57:13 PM EST
    but we seem to be having this little problem with the economy where a lot of people who had jobs, were good at their jobs, had experience and are not "old" no longer have those jobs and have been unable to find another.

    When a 30-something or recent college grad or 40-something cannot find work, where do you suppose the 65-yr old is going to find it?

    Cushy retirements were ruined?  If I have worked all my life, managed to save for the future, and believed I was investing to ensure that I could continue to lead a nice life, and to prevent my childen from having to take me in, why do I become the villain in this story?

    You are to be commended for your commitment to a lifestyle you believe will allow you to be self-sufficient, but I think perhaps you forget, or maybe don't stop to think, that we are not all islands out here, and do not have the luxury of thinking only of ourselves.


    and (none / 0) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:31:12 PM EST
    we dont all want to end up in a furnished room eating cat food.

    Not a villian Anne... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:39:08 PM EST
    but not a victim either...you're making the common mistake confusing investing with gambling.  The stock market is gambling...winning is not guaranteed.

    Thanks for the kind words, but I'm not fishing for praise based on my knuckleheaded beliefs regarding finances...just trying to keep it real and keep in mind what is real.  Retirement is a 20th century invention for common people, and as life expectancies and time in retirement continues to grow, we're all in for a rude awakening, imo.

    Or if I'm wrong, which is possible if not likely, all my peers will have a million dollars in their 401k when they're sixty and I'll be the broke simpleton, a very distinct possibility:) But you do what you think and feels right and come what may...and not playing these money-changer games feels right to me, I'll stick to poker, ponies and roulette with my "investment" dollar...but never more than I can afford to lose.


    No it is not (none / 0) (#69)
    by nyjets on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 02:27:08 PM EST
    This is an argument that bank robbers and white collar criminals should do long sentences. The fact is that Madoff bears a great deal of responsiblity for what he did to others.

    Yeah...he's a hustler. (none / 0) (#97)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:10:40 PM EST
    and bears responsibility for that.  150 years in a cage? 25-Life for a bankrobber?  Which is the crime again?

    IMO (none / 0) (#98)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:16:06 PM EST
    what he did was far worse than robbing a bank.  I can almost identify with a bank robber.  at least thats mostly insured.  stealing from retirement funds is the lowest of the low.  IMO.

    as someone else pointed out, it not only effects the people he stole the money from but most likely their children, if they are lucky enough to have any, who will now have to take care of them.


    Sh*t I root... (none / 0) (#119)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:56:07 PM EST
    for clever non-violent bankrobbers to never be caught, I hear ya there with which is a worse crime.

    But caging human beings for decades takes the cake of the three.


    OT Breaking-- SC overturns (none / 0) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:04:53 AM EST
    Ricci 5-4

    Yup, (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:08:45 AM EST
    sentence (none / 0) (#13)
    by AlkalineDave on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 10:34:56 AM EST
    150 years

    it is, (none / 0) (#14)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 10:57:28 AM EST
    In additon, just like the death penalty, these huge sentences don't seem to be much of a deterrent to others.

    for messrs madoff and skilling. ken lay had the decency to die, before sentence was passed, sparing us all a lot of wailing, keening and beating of breasts.

    mr. madoff and his family lived high (ginormously so!) on the hog, for 30 odd years, on other people's money, money that will never, ever be returned to them. did i mention it will never, ever be returned to them?

    is 150 years reasonable, or even realistic? of course not, it's merely a bargaining chip, to get to what they can sell the victims as justice done. i just don't see argentina weeping for this evita.

    donald, the fact that a sole practioner cpa firm was auditing a purported 50 billion dollar fund, should have sent red rockets blasting in the air, to the SEC examiners, the unrealistic RoR not withstanding.

    That's one of my fave songs (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 10:59:15 AM EST
    Was listening to it a few years back with my husband who is not a Stones fan, suddenly he gasped and said, "Tracy, this song is about the devil!"  Yes honey, it is :)

    Judge Chin should replace Geithner at Treasury. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Lori J on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:11:15 AM EST

    150 years... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:12:01 AM EST
    defies my understanding and sense of justice.  

    150 (none / 0) (#32)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:09:35 PM EST
    150 years for Madoff.
    I must confess that for what he did to some very vulnerable folks, it doesn't seem excessive. If we calculate the sentence for the average burglary (non-violent), and multiply it by the number of his victims....

    However, using this as a yardstick, what would be an appropriate sentence for Bush? Cheney?  Rumsfeld? Rice? Powell?

    We would see them eligible for parole in 3087.


    Depends how you view our cages... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:11:58 PM EST
    and what they are meant to accomplish.

    I view them as a last resort to protect society from criminals helpless to stop themselves from reoffending for whatever reason, violent ones or chronic thieving ones, in which case we do not need protection from Madoff. His jig is up, no one of sound mind will give him a dime.  150 years is a disgrace if you view this as the role of our cages.  Seizure of all assets to divvy among the victims and 12 months time seems about right to me.

    If you view them as tortorous chambers of punishment, then yeah..150 years for Madoff,  500 years for murderers and rapists, and so on.  But what will that say about us?  Forget Bernie, forget a p.o.s. murderer....and think of us, think of our society and what we want it to be...an inhumane one stooping to the level of the worst among us...or one that stresses humanity, redemption, rehabilitation and second chances in an often cruel inhumane world.

    It's totally up to us.


    well duh.....................! (none / 0) (#45)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:34:26 PM EST
    If you view them as tortorous chambers of punishment, then yeah..

    not sure about the torturous part though, i doubt they'll be putting him on the rack or anything. maybe the occasional waterboarding, just to keep him on his toes................

    what, exactly, did you think jails were for? we make noises about rehab, etc. but do little of substance about it. the only reasonable conclusion, based on the available evidence, is that our jails are primarily for punishment.


    I consider.... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:45:30 PM EST
    a 5' x 8' without freedom of movement a form of torture.

    Its what they are, punishment chambers, but I dream of them becoming the last resort for a freedom-loving people given no alternative, and with the uber-low population to prove it.


    Who (none / 0) (#117)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:47:21 PM EST
    Who would you consider worthy of incarceration?
    Would Bush qualify? Cheney?
    How about someone who robs an elderly woman stealing her handbag?

    What would you do about Bush?
    Causing a million deaths?
    Would putting him in a "punishment chamber" be a sign that we are not a freedom-loving people?

    I guess we could be creative and send him to Iraq to empty bedpans in hospitals filled with those he maimed.

    But if that were the case, it should only be if this activity would last forever and ever. Like Sysiphus, he would empty the vessel, only to find that it was still full. And he would do this until the end of time.


    I take it every one here manages (none / 0) (#35)
    by SOS on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:49:34 PM EST
    to stay several steps ahead of your creditors?

    At least you got that going for you.

    In fact, as I wrote at the time, (none / 0) (#44)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:33:29 PM EST
    In fact, as I wrote at the time, I don't even get why Madoff pleaded guilty.
    Maybe he really feels guilty?

    Or trying to put out the fire (none / 0) (#50)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:44:11 PM EST
    If he gave them no reason to investigate further because he took full blame, he protects all others involved.

    Or that. (none / 0) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:45:54 PM EST
    Tell you what... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 03:18:41 PM EST
    when the "honorable" judge banged the gavel and said 150 years...I felt guilty for being party to this, guilty as f*ckin' sin:)

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 04:47:33 PM EST
    what would do more actual good for society: having an obviously intelligent, resourceful person like Madoff assiduously apply themselves to some much needed longterm community service, or to just serve as an outlet for everyones's lust for vengence?

    I'm sure he'll (none / 0) (#95)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 04:51:01 PM EST
    be able to apply himself productively from behind the fence if he really wants too...

    One would hope (none / 0) (#96)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 04:51:47 PM EST
    Lust for vengeance? (none / 0) (#103)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:38:32 PM EST
    I sincerely believe that if you were robbed of all of your possessions that you would have a right to want the person who stole everything from you to be punished for this action.

    Criminal behavior should have consequences.

    This was not petty crime.
    Madoff robbed many old people of whatever future was left to them. Why should he have a future?

    To hell with him.


    All Possessions? (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:38:42 PM EST
    Anyone who would blindly trust another person with all of their money and or possessions, with promises 'trust me' you will soom be rich or richer very rich, is taking a stupid risk, imo.  With eyes wide open they should be ok with losing everything.

    Buyer beware.


    No (none / 0) (#123)
    by Natal on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:45:54 PM EST
    reasonable financial advisor would advise you to put 100% of your life savings into a hedge fund and not diversify. To a certain extent victims were not only duped by Madoff but are also victims of their own ignorance of basic market investing. They must bear some responsibility. How much  --- I dunno.

    Personally, I believe we're all responsible to some degree for all our actions even though we've acted in ignorance with some of them. It's part of the journey to reach perfection and become self-realized where all action is right action -- if not in this lifetime then in some other plane or universe when were done here IMHO.


    Well Said (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 08:28:42 PM EST
    In any case 150 years sentence is really poor, imo. Serves no one, and costs the taxpayer $$. I do not get the rational for cheering about this sentence.

    A two year sentence with 10 years probation and 10 years community service seems just to me.

    Although if commenters from a liberal legal blog that fights for defendants rights are calling for blood, I can't imagine that Madoff will last very long on the street, considering that he may have crossed some who are less cultivated and educated than those commenting here.


    I guess (none / 0) (#127)
    by Natal on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:04:05 PM EST
    there aren't many folks with us on this. But it seems vicious retribution is endemic in the US justice system. It doesn't do anyone any good and doesn't solve anything except maybe make offended feel good for a little while. Such anger shortens the lifespan and shrinks the heart if it's harboured too long inside.

    Like those of you on this thread (none / 0) (#128)
    by Spamlet on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:33:26 PM EST
    who decry what you're characterizing as a call for vengeance, I think the sentence is ludicrously over the top.

    I guess there aren't many folks with us on this.

    But, no--I am not with you.

    Unlike you, I refuse to blame the people Madoff stole from. Your own persistence in doing so (kdog, squeaky, et al.) seems overdetermined, almost as if you see the world strictly in black and white: Bernie's sentence is BAD, so Bernie has to be GOOD, which means the people he stole from must be BAD.

    And according to squeaky, they got what they deserved for being a bunch of social-climbing Jews.

    You make me tired.


    Oh Well... (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 09:57:17 PM EST
    That must be your ax to grind. I never said

    they got what they deserved for being a bunch of social-climbing Jews.

    What I said was that that was the hook, and I find it a quite interesting social phenomenon. I also said that anyone that plays all their money on one bet should be prepared to lose.

    Madoff is clearly a sociopath who stole and broke the law. What I have said is cheering a 150 sentence seems all about some kind of irrational vengeance that I find gross, not dissimilar from a lynch mob. I think that is wrong and certainly not in the spirit of a left legal defense oriented blog.

    But so be it, you can take it wherever you want.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Natal on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 07:05:44 AM EST
    " Bernie's sentence is BAD, so Bernie has to be GOOD, which means the people he stole from must be BAD."

    People need to stop playing the victim card and start taking responsibility for their lives. Self-pity is beneath human dignity. Everything that happens to you is due to your own decision-making and no one else's. Once this is realized a full self-determined life is gained -- and happiness.


    Ayn Rand lives! (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Spamlet on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 03:48:14 PM EST
    Yeah I can see your point, (none / 0) (#93)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 04:47:11 PM EST
    but I'm not so bothered by it. He's in jail until his last breath, however many years that takes.

    Some trivia:

    In 2000, Sholam Weiss was sentenced to 845 years in prison for his role in a fraud scheme that siphoned $450 million from an insurance company.
    The longest jail sentence passed was in the United States - 10,000 years for a triple murder. Dudley Wayne Kyzer was jailed for 10,000 years by a court in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1981 for murdering his wife. He was then sentenced to two life terms for murdering his mother-in-law and a college student.

    In 1994 Oklahoma rapist Darron Bennalford Anderson received a 2,200-year jail sentence. When he appealed and won a new trial, he was convicted again and resentenced to more than 90 additional centuries behind bars - including 4,000 years each for rape and sodomy, 1,750 years for kidnapping, 1,000 years for burglary and robbery, and 500 years for grand larceny.

    In July 1997, the state Court of Criminal Appeals held that the grand larceny charge was double jeopardy on the robbery conviction and thus dismissed it. So the court cut Anderson's sentence by 500 years, speeding up his release date to the year 12,744!

    Guilty guilty (none / 0) (#99)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:26:52 PM EST
    guilty guilty guilty.  Thats alotta strikes.

    Reminds me of Johnny 99, to return the favor...

    Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was Mean John Brown
    He came into the courtroom and stared young Johnny down
    Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence son fit the crime
    Prison for 98 and a year and well call it even Johnny 99

    nebraska is a great album... (none / 0) (#126)
    by of1000Kings on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 08:58:48 PM EST
    The Boss was hot when he wrote that album...

    Charming (none / 0) (#135)
    by catmandu on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 11:54:48 AM EST
    How wonderful.  Bilking people who want to get rich quick nets him 150 yrs, while a guy who rapes a five year old boy gets 1 year.
    I guess we know where America's priorities are!