Madoff Judge Says 'Evil' Crimes Justify Extraordinary Sentence

Jun 28 2011 | 4:50pm ET

Two years after his sentencing for the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, Bernard Madoff and U.S. District Judge Denny Chin traded shots in the pages of The New York Times.

As part of a series of interviews with the Gray Lady, Chin called the arch-fraudster "extraordinarily evil." Unsurprisingly, Madoff, speaking to the newspaper over the phone from the North Carolina prison where his is serving his 150-year sentence, wasn't thrilled with that description.

"I just think that was totally unrealistic and unfair," Madoff said, adding that Chin made him "the human piñata of Wall Street."

"In my mind, Chin was anything but fair," Madoff said, adding the parting shot, "with zero understanding of the industry."

Chin said he imposed the maximum sentence on Madoff to send the "strongest possible message." The scammer's "conduct was so egregious" that Chin decided to "do everything I possibly could to punish him."

"A defendant should get his just deserts."

Chin acknowledged that imposing an effective life sentence—and thensome—on a 71-year-old man was difficult, and that he considered a sentence as low as the 20 years recommended by Madoff's lawyer.

But, "In the end, I just thought he didn't deserve it," the judge explained. "The benefits of giving him hope were far outweighed by all of the other considerations."

"Maybe the judge felt, 'Well, he's 70 years old, so even if I give him 20 years, he's going to be 90 years old," Madoff said. "But, quite frankly, there's a big difference with dying in prison, you know, and dying outside with your family."

Madoff accused Chin of falling prey to "the mob psychology of the time," joking that he was "surprised Chin didn't suggest stoning in the public square."

"Explain to me who else has received a sentence like that," Madoff said. "I mean, serial killers get a death sentence, but that's virtually what he gave me."


In Depth

Why Ponzi Schemes Work: An In-Depth Look At The Allen Stanford Fraud

Dec 21 2014 | 10:30am ET

Texan Allen Stanford first appeared on the radars of financial regulators in 1997...

Lifestyle

Cooper-Hohn Won't Contest Divorce Settlement

Dec 18 2014 | 9:51am ET

The ex-wife of hedge fund billionaire Christopher Hohn will not contest a divorce...

Guest Contributor

Alternative Investment Funds Face A Communications Imperative

Dec 19 2014 | 6:10am ET

A handful of the top alternative investment firms on both sides of the Atlantic...

 

Sponsored Content

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

December 2014 Cover

Futures 2014 person of the year

Jeff Sprecher was simply looking for a platform to trade energies when launching ICE 14 years ago but it has grown to reach the pinnacle of both the listed futures and equities world.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.