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Monday, 29 June 2009

If you can't serve the time, don't do the crime

The first victims of Bernard Madoff have begun arriving on Monday morning at the Manhattan courthouse where the disgraced broker is scheduled to be sentenced for running a $65bn ‘’Ponzi’’ scheme that devastated the lives of thousands of investors across the world.

Prosecutors want the 71-year old former Nasdaq chairman to serve the maximum possible sentence of 150 years. Mr Madoff’s lawyer, Ira Sorkin, has argued that 12 years would be sufficient punishment.

“I hope he gets the max. I don’t want him to be comfortable,” said Dominic Ambrosino, 48, who walked into the courthouse nearly three hours early. The retired corrections officer, who with his wife lost $1.6m, was carrying a typed version of the four-and-a-half minute speech he plans to give at the hearing when Mr Madoff’s victims are invited to give their views.

Well, since total losses were 40,000 times those of Mr & Mrs Ambrosino, to be fair to the other victims, there should be 180,000 minutes of speeches, or 3,000 hours, which assuming the court sits in normal business hours would be the first 18 months of Mr Madoff’s sentence.

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