Bernie Madoff’s younger brother was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday for the role in his brother’s Ponzi scheme, which stole billions of dollars from investors.
The sentencing came months after Peter Madoff, 67, pleaded guilty to the criminal charges facing him, reports Yahoo! Finance. Those charges included conspiracy to commit securities fraud for falsifying the books and the records of the investment advisory company that was founded by Bernie Madoff.
US District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain was charged with handing down the 10 year prison sentence for Madoff, which was recommended by the prosecution. Swain also ordered the accused to forfeit his “draconian” $143.1 billion, which would help seal his “financial ruination.”
During the sentencing, Peter Madoff spoke, saying, “I am deeply ashamed of my conduct. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” according to The Los Angeles Times. Madoff’s prison term will begin on February 6, according to Swain, who stated:
“To take his story at face value, he knew that the business operation was a little bit crooked and he was content to go along with that. We all know that a crooked operation is rarely if ever just a ‘little bit’ crooked.”
Madoff’s sentence doesn’t start until February, because his lawyers asked that he be free to attend his granddaughter’s Bat Mitzvah on January 19. Two of the investors victimized by Madoff’s Ponzi scheme spoke during the sentencing hearing, which took less than an hour. One investor, Michael T. De Vita, stated:
“I believe it to be physically impossible for a single person to carry out such a gargantuan task all by himself. I have waited four years for others to accept responsibility for this massive crime. We are still waiting for that today. All of this was preventable if only one person was willing to do the right thing and stop this in its tracks years ago. Peter Madoff could have been that person.”
The sentencing of Bernie Madoff’s younger brother comes four years and a week after the Nasdaq chairman first revealed the Ponzi scheme.