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Madoff Sentenced To 150 Years

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the bye-bye dept.

The Courts 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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Last thing to do (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521365)

Last post!

-- Madoff

Re:Last thing to do (1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521553)

Don't worry, Bernie. They'll get that down to 5 years tops and maybe a little probation afterward, your age and your health being extenuating circumstances. You'll have your own cell with your own TV and you'll get pizza and private calls twice a week.

Re:Last thing to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521689)

Any day better than retirement.

Re:Last thing to do (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522183)

5 years hell. Now come all the appeals. Is he out on bail?

...and now (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521837)

We can go after the IRS, House, Senate and president for the screwing we're getting.

Re:Last thing to do (4, Funny)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522143)

In the words of my hero, Mike Tyson:

"I'll fuck you till you love me! Faggot."

/me considers clicking post anonymously, but I have excellent karma, I am sure I don't deserve that.

Good... although (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521373)

Will this send a message to other would-be scammers? Nope.

Re:Good... although (4, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521381)

The message to would-be scammers is: don't get caught.

Re:Good... although (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521525)

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.

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

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Good... although (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522099)

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

But if you're old, and you've lived a full life, you can rest assured that your kids and your wife will still get to live a life of luxury, while you live a life of leisure in a state-run old age home. And you'll have plenty of influence to ensure you get a comfy life inside prison, since you can pay off anyone you need.

Re:Good... although (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522203)

Speaking of his wife, there's this little piece on how Ruth Madoff Faces Living Off a Scant $2.5 Million [wsj.com] .

Her $2.5 million settlement should give her an annual income of maybe $125,000 a year [...] That's a pretty good income. It's a lot more than many of her husband's ruined victims will have. But it will hardly support her past lifestyle. [...] The irony, of course, is that Mrs Madoff really needs right now a financial adviser she can trust to handle her money.

Re:Good... although (1)

empraptor (748821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522271)

lol scant

Re:Good... although (1)

soundhack (179543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521621)

or if and when you do get caught, have the smarts to get caught in a non-extradition country.

Re:Good... although (3, Informative)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522163)

The message to would-be scammers is: don't get caught.

Or as a corollary, don't lose money. Nobody, including the SEC, cared until he started losing money and couldn't keep paying out those astronomical returns.

Tricky (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521489)

Often court judgments have more advertising value than real value. "Madoff Sentenced To 150 Years" should be "A 71-year-old man was sentenced to about 15 years, his normal lifetime".

Re:Tricky (2, Interesting)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Tricky (3, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521949)

Better yet, when he retired from his career as a fraud he managed to secure himself of free breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of his life.

Re:Tricky -- NOT (3, Informative)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522067)

Madoff's going to spend his time in medium security or worse because of the length of his sentence. Madoff is not going to like prison one bit.

Re:Good... although (2, Insightful)

powerslave12r (1389937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521587)

It sounds almost like omerta [wikipedia.org] where he is trying to prevent the system from being fixed from loopholes so that fellow scammers (and perhaps accomplices?) keep making money.

No, but maybe... (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521875)

...it will send a message to investors.

Message? Entrusting all your money to one guy is a bad idea. It's the same message they should have received when people lost all their retirement at Enron. Yes, there were people who tried to diversify towards the end and got unfairly shut out; but they should have been diversifying all along.

The Madoff lesson is that you don't just diversify your investments, you diversify your managers. In other words, one manager who says the portfolio is diversified is not enough. You should be employing more than one manager. One of them should be YOU. You may find out that they aren't any better than you. In that case, perhaps you should simply cut them out entirely; although I'm not convinced there aren't at least some managers who are worth their fees. It's just that I've never actually met one. It's become a truism over the years that a basket of stocks meeting certain criteria will beat most managers. That's why index funds have become so popular.

Of course, this falls under the category of "good problems to have" since many in the US now have a negative or very small net worth.

Re:No, but maybe... (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521989)

The Madoff lesson is that you don't just diversify your investments, you diversify your managers. In other words, one manager who says the portfolio is diversified is not enough

Hear hear!

If you are lucky enough to have enough money to invest, break it into at least three slices and find three entirely different directions to invest it, with as much independence between the three as you can possibly figure out how to do. That can be three entirely different money managers or three different targets, e.g. cash account, real estate and stocks.

In other words, diversification starts with you.

And stocks can be a really good idea right now if you're cluey enough to pick a few survivors (this is the "buy low" part of the market. "Sell high" comes later.)

Now what about (5, Insightful)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521391)

all the jackasses at the SEC that ignored data again and again which pointed to fraud and enabled him to get away with this for so many years?

Re:Now what about (5, Insightful)

helbent (1244274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521421)

Really. The SEC investigated him 3 times over the years and they didn't seem to catch on to the poignant fact that Madoff didn't do a single trade in the past 13 years or so. I wonder what kind of genius you have to be to have those kind of rock-solid blinders on?

Re:Now what about (5, Informative)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521479)

Because he was a former head of Nasdaq. He was one of the rule makers. You do not expect the head of the major exchange to be a Ponzi schemer. Just like a head of police is very unlikely to be a drug dealer.

Re:Now what about (2, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521777)

You do not expect the head of the major exchange to be a Ponzi schemer. Just like a head of police is very unlikely to be a drug dealer.

Sure, but when people keep providing information that suggests that such a thing is true (and really the info did more than just suggest in this case), you should probably really look pretty closely at it.

Re:Now what about (3, Insightful)

youngone (975102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522123)

So, the point seems to be that the system's broke, but as the rule makers get to profit, it won't get fixed. I have read no real comment on the fact that a former head of the Nasdaq is a crook, beyond the mere mention of the fact. Remarkable.

Re:Now what about (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522141)

Madoff could easily pay off anyone who investigated him. The one guy who did his own analysis and kept badgering the SEC to investigate was the estranged lover of Madoff's daughter, AND he worked for a competitor. They didn't exactly give his analysis credence when they found that out...

Besides, one hand washes the other. The SEC overlooks a few irregularities here and there, and then Madoff pulls some strings and that investigator now has a $10 mil/yr gig at a brokerage.

Re:Now what about (1, Troll)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521843)

Now that's absolutely fucking bullshit. How many real heads of police do you actually know? They make your average corner crack dealing baby rapist look like a fucking saint.

Re:Now what about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28522279)

I for one am not surprised that the head of one of the world's largest Ponzi schemes stepped down to run his own personal Ponzi scheme-- and that the SEC looked away while he ran it.

Re:Now what about (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Now what about (1, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521919)

Or because you can't punish the people in power for making bad choices because no one would be willing to risk it.

Greenspan, for all the harm he did, actually believed that Ayn Rand crap would work. It only took the decimation of the world economy to convince him otherwise.

The problem isn't the leaders, it's those that keep the leaders in power, year after year, making the same mistakes, and to a large extent, the media which dupes so many people into voting against their own self interests.

Re:Now what about (4, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522133)

Greenspan, for all the harm he did, actually believed that Ayn Rand crap would work.

It would have worked if he and Congress would have allowed the large banks to actually go bankrupt when they deserved it. Failure is the ultimate regulator, unfortunately the people who fund all the reelection campaigns in this country mysteriously became "too big to fail".

Re:Now what about (1)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522111)

all the jackasses at the SEC that ignored data again and again which pointed to fraud and enabled him to get away with this for so many years?

They not only were not punished, they were given a promotion. The Obama administration made Mary Schapiro the head of the SEC, despite a pattern of what could only be described as egregious incompetence if we are generous, stonewalling or ignoring whistleblowers in a number of high-profile fraud cases including Madoff.

Madoff goes to prison, the regulators who bent over backward to not notice the fraud when it was brought to their attention get a promotion. See how this works?

Re:Now what about (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522295)

Well, they were appointed by Get-The-Government-Off-Our-Backs politicos. BTW, who did your vote for in 2000?

DOOOOOOPED! (2, Insightful)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521395)

What is the funniest thing ever to me, is that the people who have been dooped once already into losing their money are getting dooped for a second time with all of this disinfo about madolf being the only guy involved.

There must have been dozens to hundreds of people orchestrating this. But it's ok, we'll pin it all on one guy and see how gullible the public is. This guy is up there with the Lee Harvey Oswalds of patsies.

Now here's an inconvenient truth: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521451)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/29/gop-senator-calls-inquiry-supressed-climate-change-report/ [foxnews.com]

More outcome-based science being decided at the Presidential level. Weren't we supposed to have left this sort of thing behind us when we elected Obama?

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (5, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521585)

There are several sites I no longer bother opening links for:

digg

facebook

televisa

foxnews

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521597)

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

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521783)

Does it make you cry to think that he doesn't give a rats ass about those?

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (-1, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521969)

No, because he is a bigot.

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522297)

A bigot? I don't think that means what you think it means.

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (-1, Troll)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521939)

There are several sites I no longer bother opening links for:

And I'm sure that you find your ignorance to be your bliss.

Why don't you go ahead and add Slashdot to your list.

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521841)

Next time link a news source.

Re:Now here's an inconvenient truth: (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521997)

Meet the new boss.
Believe it or not, worse than the old boss.

But the Global Warming (oh we're calling it Global Climate Change now?) bullshit is spread by both parties non-stop.

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521569)

There must have been dozens to hundreds of people orchestrating this. But it's ok, we'll pin it all on one guy and see how gullible the public is. This guy is up there with the Lee Harvey Oswalds of patsies.

I'm not sure you're aware of how the world of high-finance works. There have been hedge funds handling over $10B with FIVE employees. Seriously.

I think it's very likely that there were others in-the-know. But they probably worked out a plea to provide documentation to nail the case against Madoff, which is why they won't be prosecuted. Or Madoff is looking for redemption after perpetrating this fraud, and decided to shoulder the rap for everyone else involved. I think the last option is the most likely, and I think that his sons were who he was protecting.

But it doesn't really matter, does it? These were the extremely wealthy who were conned. As long as someone gets hanged (or imprisoned forever) we don't care. Hell, look at the swindling by Enron execs... that directly affected the retirement savings of millions of people, and in the end, we didn't really care.

As far as the general public is concerned, it's not a big deal when the wealthy steal from the wealthy. That's business by another name. And it's not a big deal when the wealthy steal from the poor -- that's business as usual. All we really care about is when the poor steal from the wealthy, because we always look down on those poorer than us, we like to imagine ourselves as wealthy, and so when the poor steal, it's an affront to our ideals.

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit... so I'll just sum up by saying: Yes, others were likely involved. Yes, he took the fall. But no one cares, as long as there's a spectacle.

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (1)

JonBuck (112195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521893)

Your comment makes me thinks of Boss Tweed, the notorious Tammany Hall politician in the 1860s and 70s who ended up taking the fall for the entire system. Even after he was put in prison, the system of corruption perpetuated by the Tammany Hall Machine lasted for another century. There may have been others, but I think the last major figure was Robert Moses in the 60s.

The current system of hedge funds and credit default swaps is almost entirely unregulated, and these financial instruments deal with such huge flows of (imaginary) cash it's staggering. Credit default swaps alone are worth about $55 trillion. And when that system goes--and it will--it'll make this Great Recession feel like good times.

Here's a moral question for you. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521903)

If you could think of a way to do it. Is it OK to steal a little bit of money from everyone?

 

Re:Here's a moral question for you. (1, Troll)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521995)

They call that government.

Re:DOOOOOOPED! You Are So Wrong... (5, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:DOOOOOOPED! You Are So Wrong... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522023)

You have a personal connection... that makes you NOT a part of the general public.

I agree, it sucks for people affected negatively, and I wish that proper restitution could be made. It's sad, but the general public doesn't give two shits about your employer, or about you. Not when there are baseball players that use steroids to cheat in a game -- now that's a travesty worthy of constant media attention and Congressional hearings. And not when Kate and John are going through a messy divorce that'll affect their eight little crotch potatoes -- THAT's a real-life travesty. Your employer and your job can't hold a candle to those crises.

Sorry, my sarcasm went overboard there. I do realize that there were people affected by this, that there were indirect victims of this crime. But I think it's obvious that the general public just doesn't care.

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522019)

I'm not sure you're aware of how Madoff supposedly worked.

He took moneys.
Said he invested it, but didn't.
Said investors had huge gains, and got more investment moneys.

He was one man acting alone with no actual financial institution backing him.

If you go to a legitimate investor, they're not operating out of their fucking house. Those 5 guys overseeing the fund are 5 guys that work for a huge megabank.

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (3, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522063)

But it doesn't really matter, does it? These were the extremely wealthy who were conned.

Sure. The extremely wealthy. And, also, charities. What do you think of stealing $15 million from The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity? Maybe $24 mill from New York University or $3 million from Bard College bothers you? I wonder what United Association Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 267 in Syracuse thinks about your blanket characterization which indicates that their loss (still under calculation) doesn't matter.

(For reference, the victim list [wsj.net] .)

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28522081)

We cared about Enron until Kenneth Lay kicked the bucket. Seems like people really only want the head man to fall, and after Lay died the bloodlust went away.

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (0, Offtopic)

InterGuru (50986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522191)

There are many charities that lost much of all of their endowments. Some closed down. The people and causes that depended on them are innocent losers.

Bookwormhole.net [bookwormhole.net] -- over 12,000 published book reviews.

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522231)

I think it's very likely that there were others in-the-know. But they probably worked out a plea to provide documentation to nail the case against Madoff, which is why they won't be prosecuted.

      There's no indication at all this happened.

  rd

Re:DOOOOOOPED! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521721)

I know. I get dooped at Slashdot all the time.

Self delusion is a powerful force (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521403)

I'm not sure he really did know how bad things were, except for perhaps at the very end... for a long time I'm not sure he thought himself he was defrauding anyone.

I'm not sure even he himself can tell us exactly how this happened, beyond the fact it just did...

Sad how many people grew to be hurt by one mans illusions.

Re:Self delusion is a powerful force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521485)

Don't be naive, he knew what he was doing.

Re:Self delusion is a powerful force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521517)

Your kidding right?

If he was doing from the beggining what he was suppose be doing instead of defrauding people he wouldn't have had any issues.

The fact remains he wasn't investing peoples money, he simply kept it (somewhere) and when people cashed out he just used someone elses money to pay them. When too many people wanted too much money back at once because of the markets collapse he simply couldn't hide it anymore.

He wasn't dillusional he knew very well what he was doing you don't come to manage BILLIONS of dollars if you don't.

Re:Self delusion is a powerful force (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522079)

What?

"for a long time I'm not sure he thought himself he was defrauding anyone"

What?

He took money.
He lied about investing it.
He lied about getting huge gains on those non-existent investments, in order to take more money.

Madoff is content (5, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521463)

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.

Re:Madoff is content (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521505)

Well, in lieu of going bankrupt and free, he'll be in a medium security prison (at most) for the rest of his life and living on the public tab. So, for a couple decades he got to live the life of a billionaire, and now he'll take it easy on our dime until he dies. Sounds like a plan to me.

Re:Madoff is content (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521593)

You do know that since he was sentenced for over 30 years, at least part of his time will need to be served in a maximum-security prison, right? That's the law.

I'm just being idealistic. In reality, he will be granted some special exemption and be allowed to serve at Middle-of-Nowhere-Federal-Golf-Resort-Penitentiary.

Re:Madoff is content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521929)

Please name this prison for me, I need a serious vacation and seems like a sound way to get out of jury duty and retire.

There is NO SUCH THING as a Middle-of-Nowhere-Federal-Golf-Resort-Penitentiary anywhere in America, in paritcular New York.

If he goes to any place near min. security anytime soon it would be Otisville Correctional Facility and trust me the lot in there aren't playing golf unless they are using there balls and your holes.

Right now he's in jail next to my work and aparently his "special treatment" is worse than the general treatment, he has no interactions with anyone and is refined to his cell 23 hours a day only allowed out by himself for the required hour.

In prison he'll be one rung higher than a child molster.

Re:Madoff is content (2, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521857)

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.

Re:Madoff is content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28522167)

You can always do something useful.

e.G. talking to Customers, who just send their Money in, Presenting extraordinary Data, and just presenting great service.
Then the Money is transferred to another account, and the Investment Team in Chicago (near the Exchange) handles it.

Re:Madoff is content (4, Informative)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522043)

I think Bernie is at least partly taking the fall for his sons. I only wish we could find out the whole truth.

It is very very obvious that the sons knew. The 5+ million dollar loans that each of them received from daddy just before the arrest (never to be repaid, obviously), the sham divorce proceedings that son Andrew and is wife went through right after daddy's arrest (only to be seen splurging on shopping together just days after), the mailing-out of jewellery and other untraceable assets to the sons and the families... That all is very obvious. (Less provable is of course the origin of the rest of their wealth... Tens of millions in real estate in Manhattan and Greenwich each, etc etc)

Re:Madoff is content (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522211)

Martyrdom is the highest calling in life. It's the ultimate sacrifice one can give. It truely is above life and law!

It's part of life, and there's not a damn thing you or I can do about it except to endure the aftermath. Frustrating, but true.

Oh great! (3, Interesting)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521495)

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:Oh great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521623)

  If they put a collar on him and cut him loose I'd give him all of a month to survive, specially since his family is now ridding the subway. Before he was escorted to jail he was pretty much refined to his apartment under high security for months.

He didn't steal from the kind of people you want to fuck with, I'm sure more than a few of the people he screwed were more than willing to throw down a few more dollars and put a bounty on his head just for the satisfaction.

BTW, I have yet to see a ballot where i get to vote for who serves on the SEC as a matter of fact the previous voted in mayor Spizter was notorious for going after things just like this and we see what happened there.

Sentance (3, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521521)

With time off for good behavior, he could be out in 127.5 years.

They need to find the money now (4, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521575)

Seriously, it's impossible to get rid of $65 Billion without having something valuable to show for it. So far they've gathered the low 9 figures of $ from him, less than 1% of the money.

Re:They need to find the money now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521607)

It was only $65 Billion on paper. Remember that the gains were imaginary. The estimate I saw this morning was that there was only $13 Billion in actual principal invested. Most of the money probably went to pay off earlier investors. The rest was spent by Madoff and friends.

Re:They need to find the money now (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521869)

It was only $65 Billion on paper. Remember that the gains were imaginary. The estimate I saw this morning was that there was only $13 Billion in actual principal invested. Most of the money probably went to pay off earlier investors. The rest was spent by Madoff and friends.

That's been the most conservative estimate so far, and the judge acknowledged it and said that he suspects that the true number is far higher.

Re:They need to find the money now (5, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521625)

Most of the $65bn never existed in the first place. The rest would have been handed out to customers who had withdrawn money in the past.

The $65bn is what his clients thought they had in their accounts with him, but a lot of that can be attributed to fictitious gains that he reported on their accounts.

Re:They need to find the money now (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521779)

He never really had $65 Bn.

On paper he did, but that's just because he had overstated clients' gains from the get-go.

Here's what happens:

Investor A gives you $5 Bn.
Investor B gives you $10 Bn.
After 3 years, investor A pulls out -- you pay him $10 Bn in earnings & principal.
So now you have $0, but you owe Investor B $10 Bn plus earnings.
So what do you have left?

Madoff overstated earnings for a long time. This meant for every $1 Bn invested, he had to pay out some n*$1 Bn when that investor called. Eventually he had no money left to pay the investors.

In other words, that $65 Bn isn't squirreled away somewhere (well, I'm sure some of it is) -- it was used to pay off other investors who withdrew their earnings.

The money's not in the Swiss bank accounts. It's in Bob's yacht, and Bill's mansion in the hills. It's in Mary's diamond necklaces, and in Elizabeth's matching Ferraris.

Re:They need to find the money now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521907)

The $65 billion is a trumped up figure derived from the financial statements that Madoff sent to his clients (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/business/08madoff.html?_r=2&ref=business). It is pure fiction. A large reason why Madoff was so successful in attracting investors was the consistent high rate-of-return his firm advertised. Of course, that return was bogus. The situation is no different from you giving me $10,000, which I proceed to blow in Las Vegas, but send an official-looking statement to you telling that your $10,000 investment is now worth $12,500. The important part is to fake a rate-of-return so high that an investor wouldn't consider withdrawing their money.

Re:They need to find the money now (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521913)

Seriously, it's impossible to get rid of $65 Billion without having something valuable to show for it.

Wacko Jacko would disagree... were he alive.

Re:They need to find the money now (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522115)

At least he left a beautiful corpse.

Oh wait...

Re:They need to find the money now (1)

igny (716218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522101)

I am pretty sure they found lots of worthless derivatives and other lottery tickets to account for all of it.

News for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521675)

Sweet! I'm a business-ponzi scheme-rip-off-artist-nerd and it's about time that there's material for someone like me here on Slashdot! Along with the computer security stories, I'm on my way to making Madoff look like an amateur. I think I'll change my name to Bernie Rippoff in honor of my idol.

Great work editors!

News For Nerds??!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521699)

C'mon now.. what the fuck does this have to with my rights online??!
Oh wait, it's kdawson, using slashdot as his personal blog, yet again.

I understand it now.

Re:News For Nerds??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521885)

Moron. This site has always been about the articles that Rob (& the other editors as added) found interesting. Read the FAQ.

There's user content on the site, but at its heart... it IS a personal blog. If you don't like it, go elsewhere. Or at least STFU. We'll all be better off for it.

Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521757)

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

And what, after 150 years in prison you think he will say something? Just plain stinking vengeance...

Re:Pathetic (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521927)

And what, after 150 years in prison you think he will say something? Just plain stinking vengeance...

Stinking corpse, not stinking vengeance. Luckily for you I am a ninth-level initiate of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and I have received divine favor in the form of the 4th-level spell "Speak with Dead". So twenty years from now, when we're all enacting "Weekend at Bernie Madoff's" at the Federal Croquet and Badminton Penitentiary, I will be able to hear Madoff's full confession.

Praise be to He of the Tangled Forkful, Ramen.

Re:Pathetic (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522251)

What do you think "justice" is, dipshit? You can call it what you want, but prison is about punishment and about prevention.

torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28521773)

why don't they use torture? Like waterboarding or maybe drug him and then hypnotize him. Who cares if it's against the constitution, this is an exceptional case (plus it's not like the constitution stopped this kind of thing before)

Re:torture (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522241)

You know, If you're proposing to violate the constitution anyway, there are surer ways to get at the money. Why not just seize the assets of the Madoff family members and throw the lot of them in prison as well? With no trial, due process, or possibility of release, of course. And continue the incarceration and seizures with Madoff's friends and associates until enough money has been recouped. It may not be law, but I imagine it'd be mighty close to justice!

Madoff is not the only one with greed (4, Insightful)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521859)

How about all the clients who did everything they could to have the privilege of being Madoff's clients? I mean heck what were they thinking while they saw their accounts having unbelievable returns? They might as well take some responsibilities.

Knowing My Rights (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521873)

Knowing my rights should allow be to beat the crap out of this guy until he gives up all of the hidden assets, and all of the people who helped him along the way.

Tag "republicans" (4, Insightful)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#28521911)

Can I ask why this article is tagged "republicans"? Bernard Madoff isn't one, since he gave 88% of his political spending to the Democratic party (source [latimes.com] ). Nor is Judge Denny Chin a definite Republican (his affiliation is unknown). Alright, so some of the victims were, and probably some of the conspirators, but there's no reason this should be tagged the way it is.

Re:Tag "republicans" (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522053)

I find the YRO tag much worse. This has little to do with our rights (you could frame it as a dangerous precedent on jail time for white collar criminals but we don't seem to be taking that angle in the comments) and is most definitely not on the internet. We should rename it something like "court" or "law".

Re:Tag "republicans" (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522281)

Don't be an idiot. This *is* Slashdot after all. Revealing the truth (and facts) is like showing a group of Vampire's the Cross.

Sir, I highly recommend you don't go Vampire hunting anymore. Not around here anyways.

let's make a deal (1)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522001)

How about the judge offers him a deal -- 1 year off of his sentence for every $1B he reveals and pays back.

Not a Bad Trade (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522029)

The guy lives in extreme luxury based on fraud. Now, at 70 with most of his years behind him he can contemplate, read and relax where he is safe, his meals are payed for, and he gets free medical care.

I doubt he has any real regrets, just the faked remorse shown in court.

Re:Not a Bad Trade (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522269)

Right. Prison is a cakewalk for an old man. Give me a break. He's going to have a shitty remaining 1-20 years of life.

I see a Shawshank Redemption coming up (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522107)

Hey Bernie, why don't you tell me where you really hid the money? Scummer. I hope they get his family members who were in on it too some day, along with his SEC enablers. The .gov also settled the case against his wife (former bookkeeper who knew exactly what was going on). They let her keep $2.5 million. Such a deal.

this news for nerds (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28522159)

brought to you once again by slashdot. we all knew he would be sentenced harshly, so its hardly news. this doesnt seem to have anything to do with nerds or nerd culture, so aside from finding a face to put on the financial crisis and kick the teeth out of, i do not see how this story matters to slashdotters.

if i wanted to find out what happened in meatworld politics, id hit NBC or something.

Parity (parody?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28522181)

Rape: 10 years
Murder: 25 years
Fraud: 150 years

What a joke.

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