US prosecutors propose 150-year-jail term for Ponzi king Madoff

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New York, June 27 (ANI): Federal prosecutors in the United States recommended Friday that Ponzi king Bernard L. Madoff be sentenced to 150 years in prison for defrauding the public of 65 billion dollars.

According to the New York Times, this term is the maximum established for his crime under non-binding federal sentencing guidelines.

Although it would be a purely symbolic sentence even for a young prisoner, prosecutors said that 71-year-old Madoff's case; the "extraordinary dimensions" of his crimes warranted it.

"He engaged in wholesale fraud for more than a generation," said Marc Litt, an assistant United States attorney, in a memo sent to Federal District Judge Denny Chin, who will sentence Madoff on Monday.

Although Madoff testified in March that his Ponzi scheme began about 1991, Litt said in his brief that a confidential pre-sentencing report shows it began at least a decade earlier.

"The sheer scale of the Madoff fraud calls for severe punishment," Litt said while comparing his crime with others that have come before the federal courts in New York.

Also Friday, prosecutors announced that Judge Chin has entered a preliminary order directing Madoff to pay just over 170 million dollars in forfeited assets.

The order strips Madoff of all his property and leaves 2.5 million dollars in assets for his wife, Ruth Madoff.

Earlier, Ira Lee Sorkin, a lawyer for Madoff, suggested in a letter to Judge Chin on Tuesday that a prison term of 12 years would effectively be a life sentence because Madoff's remaining life expectancy is roughly 13 years.

Sorkin and his defense team referred in the letter to an atmosphere of "mob vengeance" surrounding Madoff. They urged the court to consider that he essentially turned himself in.

More than 100 victims of Madoff's scheme have filed emotional letters with the court, nearly all asking Judge Chin to give him the harshest sentence that the law allows. A handful of them have requested to speak at his sentencing on Monday. (ANI)

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