In a matter of hours, the world will have discovered what becomes of world-class swindlers in the United States of America. Bernard “Bernie” Madoff, undisputed master bilker and the greatest thief of the modern era, will face a judge and receive his sentence for his crimes against the American people. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin of Manhattan will play the role of hatchet man with Madoff portraying the Louis XVI, due to be executed, though figuratively speaking this time, for crimes against the people. In March he admitted to masterminding and operating one of the most intricate, largest, and lengthiest Ponzi-schemes in history. Thousands were robbed for billions of dollars.
Spectators numbering in the hundred, including several of Madoff’s victims, are expected to attend the trial today. Prosecutors form the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan are requesting that a sentence under the statutory maximum be given, which if handed down, would effectively guarantee that the 71-year-old crook will die while incarcerated. Under the maximum statutory allowance for the crimes of which he is accused, Madoff can either receive 150 years in a federal penitentiary or a general sentence that will see him spend the rest of his natural life in prison. Ira Sorkin, Madoff’s lawyer, is facing an uphill battle as he is seeking clemency for his client. Based solely on the premise that time will ultimately rob anyone of any satisfaction that would find any in seeing the pilfering senior citizen rot behind bar, Sorkin is pushing for the court to sentence his client to 12 years, as he is only expected to live for another 13. As an alternative, he has requested that 15 to 20 years be given if the first request is not possible.
Ruth Madoff, wife of Bernard, agreed to forfeit her claim to $80 million in cash and assets in a deal with the U.S. Attorneys Office that was finalized last Friday. Federal officials allowed her to keep $2.5 million in cash. Her husband has pleaded guilty to 11 criminal charges including multiple counts of fraud and money laundering in a scheme that can be traced back to the recession years of the 80’s. Only $1.2 billion in cash and assets has been recovered thus far, with the misses giving over $48,500 worth of fur coats; $13.2 billion is estimated to have been stolen since 1995.