Bernard Madoff Should Get 12 Years in Stupendous Swindle, His Lawyer Argues
Posted Jun 23, 2009 12:46 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Convicted in a Ponzi scheme of stupendous scope that has reportedly left many of his formerly well-to-do victims virtually penniless, Bernard Madoff could get as much as 150 years in prison when he is sentenced Monday in Manhattan federal court.
But his lawyer is arguing for a 12-year term, saying that this could amount to life for a 71-year-old whose actuarial life expectancy is 12.66 years, reports Newsday.
A 12-year sentence is also consistent with the interests of justice concerning this nonviolent crime and would appropriately recognize Madoff's acceptance of responsibility and cooperation, says attorney Ira Sorkin in a letter to U.S. District Judge Denny Chin that was unsealed this morning.
"A prison term of 12 years—just short of an effective life sentence—would sufficiently address the goals of deterrence, protecting the public and promoting respect for the law without being 'greater than necessary' to achieve them," writes Sorkin.
Alternatively, Sorkin argues, a prison term of 15 to 20 years would "effectively achieve” sentencing goals “without disproportionately punishing Mr. Madoff,” reports Bloomberg.
The government's sentencing brief is expected to be filed later this week.
Madoff is estimated to have caused investor losses of between $13 and $21 billion, via a purported hedge fund he operated that actually was a Ponzi scheme, according to the newspaper.
Guardian: "Fraud victims pour vitriol on Bernard Madoff"
Bloomberg: "Madoff Bankruptcy Trustee Sues Cohmad Securities"
Los Angeles Times: "Beverly Hills money manager Stanley Chais accused of fraud"