Sunday, 26 February 2017
Last updated 1 day ago
Jun 16 2009 | 2:40am ET
Invited by the judge who will sentence Bernard Madoff in two weeks to have their say, the victims of the $65 billion Ponzi scheme did not mince words.
Madoff investors sent 113 victim-impact statements to U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, who will impose a sentence of up to 150 years on the 71-year-old on June 29. In March, Madoff pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering, false filings and perjury; he has been held in a Manhattan jail since then.
The letter-writers were unsparing in the missives to Chin, released yesterday by federal prosecutors, calling him a “monster” deserving of “no forgiveness.” Some complained about the clawback suits threatened by court-appointed receiver Irving Picard, who is trying to recoup some of the phony profits Madoff paid out to his clients, or the failure of regulators to catch Madoff’s multi-decade scam. Others described how the scandal ravaged their lives. Still others just poured on the vitriol.
“You are a murderer,” Phyllis Lerner wrote. “You committed generational theft.”
“I can’t tell you how scattered we feel,” another investor, Elle Bussi-Sottile, wrote. “It goes beyond financially. It reaches to the core and affects your general faith in humanity.”
Many of Madoff’s older victims used the opportunity to tell Chin of how their losses from the Madoff scheme have left them destitute. Some two-thirds of the statements came from retirees or their children.
“I am 86 years old,” Morton Chalek of Long Island, N.Y., wrote. “I have a broken knee, I have lung cancer and thanks to Madoff, I am now bankrupt.”
Most of all, the writers sought to get across one message: Lock him up, and throw away the key.
“Sentence this monster named Madoff to the most severe punishment within your abilities,” Randy Baird of California wrote. “We are too old to make up what we have lost.”
“He has condemned his investors to a life of hell,” 81-year-old victim Emma De Vita wrote, “while his hell will be the prison you sentence him to.”
Sample Of Madoff Victims' Letters: