Madoff plea post mortem, a Bernie roundup


News is probably going to be flying in fast and furious today after Bernard Madoff plead guilty to a $64.8 billion Ponzi scheme. We’ll try to keep you posted on the more interesting stories of the day.

For one, Bernie says he’s sorry, acording to Sky News:

The former chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange spoke publicly for the first time about the scam after pleading guilty to all 11 charges against him including fraud, money laundering and perjury.

"I’m deeply sorry and ashamed," Madoff said during a 10-minute speech in court in New York.

"I believed it would end quickly and I would extricate myself and my clients. This proved difficult and, in the end, impossible."

CNBC has a description of what happened in court, including a list of charges to which Madoff plead guilty.

This piece from Bloomberg gives you pretty much all you want to know about Madoff post-guilty plea.

First, that "sorry he just gave probably won’t be enough to make him a popular guy in prison:

“Madoff isn’t going to be real popular,” said Larry Levine, who served 10 years in federal prisons for securities fraud and narcotics trafficking and now advises convicts on surviving time behind bars. “All the guys there will have wives or parents who are losing their homes or their jobs or who can’t send money to them anymore. Everybody’s going to be blaming Bernie.”

He’ll be a target:

After hunting down victims for decades, Madoff will now become a target, according to Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist at the David Geffen School of Medicine of University of California at Los Angeles.

“In the beginning, he will be besieged by mail that will be threatening and accusatory,” said Dietz, who heads a Newport Beach, California-based consulting firm that participated in more than 12,000 criminal investigations, according to its Web site.

“There will be people trying to scam him and people who think he’s hiding money,” Dietz said. “There will be inmates asking for money, and you don’t want them to disbelieve you when you say you don’t have it.”

He’ll be in good company:

Madoff will likely join a corps of aging white-collar convicts including former WorldCom Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers, 67, now housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana, and John Rigas, 84, the ex-CEO of Adelphia Communications Corp. who is imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina.

Ebbers, who was convicted in an $11 billion accounting fraud, is due for release on July 4, 2028, while Rigas’s sentence for securities and bank fraud and conspiracy runs until Jan. 23, 2018, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Web site.

Federal prisons carry different designations, ranging from minimum to maximum, based on levels of security.

The two former CEOs are doing time in low-security prisons featuring double-fenced perimeters, mostly dormitory housing and work programs, according to the bureau Web site.

Madoff probably would be assigned to a low- or medium- security facility, said Levine, whose firm, Wall Street Prison Consultants, is in Los Angeles. Medium-level lockups usually house inmates in cells and are ringed with electronic escape- detection systems, the bureau site says.

Foxnews follows up with a list of the prison sentences that other big-time fraudsters  received.

Ivan Boesky got 3 ½ years, Mike Milken got 10 years, and the Enron trio got a combined 30 years, though that would have been longer had Kenneth Lay not died before sentencing.

Reuters says that the guilty plea is not satisfactory for many of Madoff’s victims.

Madoff will not face a jury trial, which would provide more evidence of his financial crimes and co-conspirators going back 20 years, and catharsis for some.

"They want this to be over so badly, it’s stunning," said New York retiree Miriam Siegman, who worked for nonprofit organizations and lost her retirement money. "In a jury trial the truth has a chance of coming out."

For more news roundup check out this USA Today blog post.


Recommended from JTA