COMEUPPANCE: Madoff Gets The Maximum

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WALL STREET JOURNAL: In sentencing convicted swindler Bernard Madoff to 150 years, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said he wanted to send a symbolic message. That sentence was the number of years the prosecutors asked for and the statutory maximum for the 11 counts Madoff pleaded guilty to in March. “Here the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinary evil,” Judge Chin said. MORE

BLOOMBERG NEWS: Ruth Madoff’s lawyer, Peter Chavkin, issued a statement moments after Bernard Madoff was sentenced today to 150 years in prison. No Madoff family members appeared at the sentencing. “From the moment I learned from my husband that he had committed an enormous fraud, I have had two thoughts — first, that so many people who trusted him would be ruined financially and emotionally, and second, that my life with the man I have known for over 50 years was over,” she said in the statement. Ruth Madoff will madoff_tree_1.jpgbe left with $2.5 million in cash under a settlement the Madoff family has reached with federal prosecutors. She may also be sued by investors. MORE

GUARDIAN: One of the biggest mysteries of the Madoff affair is what happened to all the money. Federal investigators involved in tracking Madoff’s missing billions are not even sure how much they are looking for. The amount ranges from estimated losses suffered by investors of $13bn to the $70bn which Madoff has accepted was attributable to his unlawful activities. So far Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee of Madoff’s collapsed firm, has recovered just $1.2bn on behalf of investors. It is a small return for a six-month investigation that involved the US justice department, the financial regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission, Picard’s office and the US marshals. If Picard is to narrow the gap between asset recovery and escalating investor losses, it now seems likely that he will have to focus more on those who did business with Madoff rather than rely on tracking down his personal assets. Although those assets give a fascinating insight into the fraudster’s lifestyle they cover only a fraction of investors’ losses. MORE

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