Bernard Madoff guilty, gets 150-year prison term
June 30, 2009
Just less than an hour ago, a US federal judge gave the 71-year-old former NASDAQ chair Bernard Madoff the maximum sentence of 150 years in prison for an “extraordinary evil” fraud that demolished the life savings of individuals and investments of charities and pension funds.
In the court decision, District Judge Denny Chin described the unprecedented nature of the multibillion-dollar fraud as “extraordinarily evil and that this kind of irresponsible manipulation of the system is not merely a bloodless financial crime that takes place just on paper, but it is instead … one that takes a staggering human toll.”
Who is Bernard Madoff?
Bernard Madoff was born into a New York Jewish family in 1938. He founded his investment firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, in 1960. By the early 1980s, the firm was one of the largest independent trading operations in the securities industry, and by 2000 it had about $300 million in assets.
He was closely involved in the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the self-regulatory organisation for brokers and dealer firms. The NASD went on to found NASDAQ, the screen-based equity exchange, in 1971, and Mr Madoff became its chairman in 1990.
Madoff investment scandal
Madoff stated that he began his Ponzi scheme in 1991. He admitted he had never made any legitimate investments with his clients’ money during this time; instead he simply deposited the money into his Chase Manhattan Bank business account.
He was committed to satisfying his clients’ expectations of high returns, despite an economic recession. He admitted to false trading activities masked by foreign transfers and false SEC filings. He said he had always wanted to resume legitimate trading activity, but it proved “difficult, and ultimately impossible” to reconcile his client accounts. In the end, Madoff said, he realized that his scam would eventually be exposed.
On December 10, 2008, Madoff informed his sons that he decided to pay several million dollars in bonuses two months earlier than scheduled. According to federal investigators, Mark and Andrew demanded to know how their father could pay bonuses if he couldn’t afford to pay investors.
Madoff then admitted the asset management arm of his firm was an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Through their attorney, Madoff’s sons reported their father to federal authorities. On December 11, he was arrested and charged with securities fraud.
On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal crimes, including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, perjury and making false filings with the SEC.
The Philippines’ own Madoff: Celso de los Angeles?
Madoff’s conviction reminds us how the Legacy rural banks scandal has continued to drag on for months now.
Dozens of rural banks have closed down, thousands of depositors are still waiting for their money, and the man supposedly behind all this — Celso de los Angeles Jr. – is still not tried.
Will Celso de los Angeles be the Madoff who was found guilty of investment fraud or the Madoff who, for years, enjoyed luxuries and fame while deceiving the public?
No one knows.
Source: Yahoo News
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