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June 29th, 2009
01:55 PM ET

Madoff sentenced to 150 years

Financier Bernard Madoff leaves Manhattan Federal court March 10, 2009 in New York City. Getty Images/FILE
Financier Bernard Madoff leaves Manhattan Federal court March 10, 2009 in New York City. Getty Images/FILE

NEW YORK ( - A federal judge sentenced Bernard Madoff, the convicted mastermind of the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme ever, to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal court Monday.

Judge Denny Chin of U.S. District Court in New York announced the sentence just moments after Madoff apologized to his victims.

Chin, who called Madoff's crimes "extraordinarily evil," said the maximum sentence was important for deterrence, and also for the victims, many of whom erupted into applause after the judge announced the sentence. Many hugged and some of them broke down in tears.

Shortly before he received his sentence, Madoff offered an apology.

"I live in a tormented state for all the pain and suffering I created," he said. "I left a legacy of shame. It is something I will live with for the rest of my life."

Turning to face some of his victims, Madoff addressed them directly: "Saying I'm sorry is not enough. I turn to face you. I know it will not help. I'm sorry."

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Filed under: Crime
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Greenriverkate

    Sympathy for this family? Absolutely not. Please don't insult my intelligence by saying his wife was deaf dumb and blind. She knew exactly what he was doing. She worked wallstreet. Comparing a rape case with money is ridiculous. I see your point as 20 years should be life with no parole. However, Madoff destroyed many lives with his ponsey scheme. Many of these people won't recover. I have no use for the rich but come on, he did destroy lives. Greed has destroyed the country and he did more than his fair share!

    July 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  2. doug degriselles

    question did she work out of the home, and why is she allowed to keep anything, must be nice to have $125000 per year income

    June 30, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  3. Thore Mann

    Amazing. When you rape and murder a little girl, you get 20 years to life, with a chance for parole. But when you mess with money – now that's a real crime. As always, this country's priorities suck.

    June 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  4. nancy

    BooHoo Madoff. NOW, go after the rest of the CROOKS that were in on it with him. Wifey included.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:22 am |

    Pitiful human being. I think they should go after his wife, his family and all those that benefitted from his blatant greed. Any assets purchased by man that he "gave" away confiscated. NO MERCY.
    Pitiful start for all the mayhem this person did. I think he should get the death penalty.

    Queen of hearts says, "off with his head".

    June 30, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  6. Dwane

    Well that is a start. Finally some justice. No lets get the rest of the responsible parties in that case to.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm |