Madoff's Brother Gets 10 Years

Dec 21 2012 | 11:05am ET

Bernard Madoff's younger brother has been sentenced to a decade in prison for his role in the $65 billion fraud at his brother's company.

The length of the term was expected; as part of his plea deal, Peter Madoff had agreed to seek no less than 10 years, the maximum allowed by law. But after hearing from Madoff, who admitted to falsifying documents and evading taxes but denies knowing that his brother was running a Ponzi scheme, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain had some harsh words for the 67-year-old.

She called his claims of ignorance "frankly, not believable," and challenged him "to be honest about all that you have done and all that you have seen."

Madoff, who is only the second person to be sentenced so far more than four years after the fraud collapsed, told Swain that he is "deeply ashamed" of his conduct and that he has "tried to atone by pleading guilty and forfeiting all my assets."

Swain approved that $143.1 billion forfeiture, which she called "draconian." It "seals Peter Madoff's financial ruination."

Swain also sentenced Madoff to one year of probation upon his release. But she also showed some compassion, agreeing both to a delay in his reporting to prison and promising to recommend that he serve his sentence in upstate New York, 70 miles northwest of New York City.

Madoff, who asked for the delay to allow him to attend his granddaughter's bat mitzvah next month, must report by Feb. 6.

Two Madoff victims spoke before the sentencing. One, Michael DeVita, asked Swain to "show the same degree of compassion for Peter Madoff that he showed for us: None."

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