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Madoff’s 150-year sentence

Bernie Madoff played uncle to the world’s rich.  He comforted those who had family struggles, promised great things to the Hollywood elite, and controlled a mass of wealth at $171 billion.  And all he asked for in return was your trust.

That’s when Uncle Bernie slid the knife into his clients’ backs.

His scheme was well hidden and his methods well thought out.  In fact, his plan worked perfectly when the economy was in full swing because there was plenty of money to be had.  The only thing he had to do for his operation to remain behind the curtain was keep securing more investors willing to give him millions in exchange for his promise of substantial capital growth.

When the curtain was pulled back and the world saw the smoke and mirror’s behind Bernie Madoff’s wondrous magic trick, the world came crashing down.  

Madoff’s crime is one that far exceeded anything any other ponzi schemist has tried, and will likely be the largest such case to ever happen.  He bankrupted families all over the world, sapped heaps of money from the rich and brought down the executioner’s hammer on himself with his admittance of guilt.

His lawyers argued that 12 years would be a proper and well deserved sentence for his crime, given that the man is in his 70s.  

The judge had other ideas, however.

From the Associated Press: U.S. District Judge Denny Chin cited Hill’s letter as one of the most stirring examples of an “extraordinarily evil” fraud, one worthy of a staggering sentence for Madoff: 150 years behind bars.

“Here, the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were 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,” Chin said.

The way that Madoff manipulated people into his scheme, as well as playing to their emotions, such as in a case where a woman lost her husband and Madoff put his arm over her shoulder, comforted her, and told her that her money was safe and not to worry.

Needless to say, the woman lost everything.

Madoff getting 150 years is nothing more than a symbolic gesture to set precedent for future trials where extraordinary cases of evil intent will be hit with the full force of the law without any mercy.  With how many suffered at the hands of this white collar criminal, mercy would be the last thing any of them wish for the crook to see.

Whether or not others will join Bernie in his fate, such as his wife and sons, remains to be seen.  Madoff has insisted that he acted alone and did not tell anyone, including his family, until he confessed to his sons about his elaborate scam.  The truth may never be known, but even if everyone involved had the book thrown at them, it wouldn’t bring back the life savings of all the people that suffered and are now left with nothing.