Sentencing Transcript in U.S. v. Madoff | Jeannie Suk | September 21, 2017

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Sentencing Transcript in U.S. v. Madoff

by Jeannie Suk
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96TJMAD1                  Sentence

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1            UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

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1            SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

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3            UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

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4                       v.                          09 CR 213 (DC)

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5            BERNARD L. MADOFF,

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6                          Defendant.

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9                                                    New York, N.Y.

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9                                                    June 29, 2009

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10                                                  10:00 a.m.

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12          Before:

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13                                 HON. DENNY CHIN,

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14                                                  District Judge

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC. (212)805-0300

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96TJMAD1                Sentence

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(In open court)

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(Case called)

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THE COURT: Please be seated. Good morning. Mr. Madoff, would you please stand.

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Mr. Madoff, you pled guilty on March 12th, 2009 to 11 counts of securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, wire and mail fraud, money laundering, making false statements, perjury, filing false documents with the SEC and theft from employee benefit funds You are here this morning to be sentenced for those crimes.

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Have you reviewed the presentence report?

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THE DEFENDANT: Yes, I have, your Honor.

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THE COURT: Did you discuss it with your lawyers?

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THE DEFENDANT: I have.

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THE COURT: Mr. Sorkin, have you reviewed the presentence report and discussed it with your client?

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  1. SORKIN: Yes, your Honor, we have.
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THE COURT: Do you or your client have any objections to the factual recitations or the guidelines calculation?

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  1. SORKIN: We do not, your Honor.
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THE COURT: Thank you. You can be seated.

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Ms. Baroni, does the government have any objections to the presentence report?

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  1. BARONI: No, your Honor.
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THE COURT: Thank you.

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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1              I accept and adopt the factual recitations set forth

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2     in the presentence report. I accept and adopt the guidelines

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3     calculation set forth in the presentence report with one

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4     clarification which I will discuss in a moment.

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5              The total offense level is 52, the criminal history

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6     category is I. The PSR concludes that the guideline range is

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7     life imprisonment. That is not quite accurate, however,

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8     because the guidelines range cannot be life imprisonment as no

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9     count carries the possibility of a life sentence. Rather the

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10  most serious counts carry a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment.

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11           I look then to Section 5G1.2(d) of the guidelines,

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12  which tells us that where there are multiple counts, and the

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13  guideline range exceeds the statutory maximum for the most

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14  serious count, the court must impose consecutive terms of

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15  imprisonment to the extent necessary to achieve the total

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16  punishment.

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17           There is a little bit of ambiguity, however, as to

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18  what is meant by "total punishment" where the guideline

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19  calculation calls for life imprisonment, but Second Circuit

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20  case law makes clear that in such a situation, the district

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21  court is to stack or add up the maximum sentences for all the

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22  counts.

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23           In United States v. Evans, for example, 352 F.3d 65,

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24  where the guideline calculation called for life imprisonment

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25  but no count carried a life sentence, the court held that the

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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(212)805-0300

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1     guideline range is 240 years, the maximum sentences for all the

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2     counts added together.

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3              Accordingly, here the guideline range is not life

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4     imprisonment, but 150 years, the maximum sentences for each of

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5     the 11 counts added together. Of course, in light of Booker

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6     and the case law that followed, the guideline range is advisory

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7     only. While I must give the guideline range fair and

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8     respectful consideration, I am not bound by it. In fact, the

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9     Probation Department recommends a sentence of 50 years.

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10  Instead I must make an individualized assessment based on all

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11  the facts and circumstances, including the factors set forth in

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12  the statute. In the end, I must impose a sentence that is

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13  reasonable.

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14           We will proceed as follows:

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15           First we will hear from the victims. Then Mr. Sorkin

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16  will speak on behalf of Mr. Madoff. Next Mr. Madoff may speak

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17  if he wishes. Finally, I will hear from the government.

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18           First the victims. I have received several hundred

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19  written statements from victims including the e-mails and

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20  letters submitted back in March. Every victim who made a timed

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21  request to speak will be permitted to speak today except in two

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22  instances. Two members of the same family asked to speak, and

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23  we will permit one person to speak on behalf of the family.

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24  Two victims have now withdrawn their request. Accordingly, we

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25  will hear from 9 victims today.

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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(212)805-0300

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1             First we will hear from Mr. and Mrs. Ambrosino. The

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2     Ambrosinos can step up to the microphone. Go ahead.

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3     Mr. Ambrosino, go ahead. Come up to the microphone so everyone

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4     can hear you.

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5             MR. AMBROSINO: Thank you, your Honor. My name is

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6     Dominic Ambrosino and my -­7         THE COURT: Sir, just keep your voice up.

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8             MR. AMBROSINO: I thank the court for allowing me to

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9     speak today. As a retired New York City Correction Officer, I

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10   am very familiar with the inside of a courtroom. However, I

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11   never in my wildest dreams ever expected to be sitting in one

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12   as a victim of an indescribably heinous crime -­13            THE COURT: Mr. Ambrosino, slow down a touch so our

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14   Court Reporter can transcribe what you're saying.

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15           MR. AMBROSINO: That dream came true on March 12th as

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16   I watched Bernie Madoff stand and be cuffed. However, the

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17   dream really started as a nightmare on December 11th. I can

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18   remember the exact second my wife told me the news. I

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19   immediately knew all the ramifications, but I don't think she

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20   did. The fallout from having your entire life savings drop

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21   right out from under your nose is truly like nothing you can

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22   ever describe. At first it was the obvious, and how will we

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23   pay our bills? How can someone do this to us?

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24           We worked honestly and we worked so hard. This can't

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25   be real. We did nothing wrong.

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1              I don't know if anyone other than another victim can

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2     explain what the less obvious effects are, how every decision

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3     directly and indirectly hinged on the fact that we had the

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4     security of our savings. When I was able to leave the job, we

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5     bought a motor home to travel the country. We took out a

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6     mortgage since it was better to keep our savings in Madoff. We

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7     sold the house my wife lived in for 27 years and also put all

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8     those profits -- and they were high -- into our Madoff account.

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9     We trusted that the savings and planning would see us through

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10  our retirement.

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11           We had ideas of traveling the country. It all stopped

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12  abruptly on December 11th. As a result, we are left with no

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13  permanent house, a depreciating motor home, we are upside down

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14  on the loan and an income from my pension that is our life.

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15  This pension used to be perceived as spending money before

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16  December 11th, and now although it doesn't cover our monthly

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17  expenses, we rely on it fully. It is all we have.

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18           I sustained a 52 percent hearing loss on my job, and

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19  at 49 years' old I can't go back to my previous career so I

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20  have taken on a job this summer in Arizona as an construction

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21  project coordinator. The job will only last until August.

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22  Then I don't know what I am going to do.

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23           My wife's foot was run over by a van while in New York

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24  City. There was a plea hearing in March. She had a job lined

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25  up before the trip. The expenses of the trip were given to us

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1     and we had to let it go since she was in a cast for eight

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2     weeks. She is now rehabilitating and still feels pain when she

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3     stands for long periods of time.

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4              With that background as to who I am, I would like to

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5     share some of the specific problems Madoffs crime brought to

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6     us. My pension distribution, a one-time decision, and our

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7     health insurance plan, also one-time decision, were based on

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8     the fact that we had savings and security with Madoff. If I

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9     should die, my wife is left without my income or health

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10  insurance.

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11            We sold our home in New York with the expectation that

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12  someday we would have the finances to purchase another one. We

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13  have no credit now and can't get a mortgage. We have been

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14  forced to take care of people's homes while they are traveling

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15  for the summer, as we used to do prior to December 11th.

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16            We have through the generosity of friends been able to

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17  stay rent free on the RV lots of people in the community. This

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18  will come to a screeching halt in October when the owners

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19  return for the winter season. We don't know where we'll go at

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20  that time. We don't have enough income from my pension to pay

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21  monthly rent.

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22            The most devastating to us is we lost our freedom. We

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23  lost the ability to share our life every day as we explore the

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24  country every day. We lost the time to hold hands as we

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25  walked. As they say in the commercial, this is priceless.

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96TJMAD1                Sentence

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In closing, I would like to say, Judge Chin, sentencing Bernard L. Madoff to the fullest extent will certainly not eliminate any of the issues I wrote about. It probably won't even gain me satisfaction. As the guard who used to be on the right side of the prison bars, I'll know what Mr. Madoffs experience will be and will know that he is in prison in much the same way he imprisoned us as well as others.

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He took from us the freedom that we held so preciously close to our lives, the very thing I always valued and never took for granted. In a sense, I would like someone in the court today to tell me how long is my sentence.

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Thank you very much.

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THE COURT: Thank you. Next we'll hear from Mr. and Mrs. FitzMaurice.

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  1. EBEL: No, Judge Chin. I am next.
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THE COURT: I saw the gentleman standing up next and I thought you were Maureen Ebel.

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  1. EBEL: Yes, I am. I am here with may brother, William Thomas McDonough.
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THE COURT: All right.

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  1. EBEL: My name is Maureen Ebel and I am a victim of Bernard L. Madoff.
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I      have lost all of my life's hard-earned savings. I have lost my life savings because our government has failed me and thousands and thousands of other citizens. There are many SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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1     levels of government complicity in this crime. The Securities

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2     & Exchange Commission, by its total incompetence and criminal

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3     negligence, has allowed a psychopath to steal from me and steal

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4     from the world.

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5              I am a 61-year-old widow and I am now working full

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6     time. I have done many things to survive since December 11th,

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7     including selling a lot of my possessions and working three

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8     jobs at the same time. I have lost a home that my husband and

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9     I had owned for 25 years because of this theft.

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10            I have lost my ability to care for myself in my old

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11  age. I have lost the ability to donate to charity, especially

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12  the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have lost my ability to

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13  donate my time working for that charity as I had done in the

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14  past because now I must work full time in order to eat.

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15            I have lost the ability to help future generations of

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16  my family get an education. I have lost the ability to help

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17  them with their housing needs. It pains my so much to remember

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18  my husband getting up in the middle of the night. He was a

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19  very fine physician. He would get up in the middle of the

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20  night year after year in all kinds of weather to go to the

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21  hospital to save someone's life in rain, ice and snow.

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22            He would save someone's life so that Bernie Madoff

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23  could buy his wife another party rock. I have lost the ability

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24  to move around the world freely at this stage in my life using

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25  the money my husband and I have worked so hard to earn. We had

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1     worked, saved and planned for our old age so that we could

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2     leave something behind and not be a burden when we became sick

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3     and old.

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4              The emotional toll that this has taken on me has been

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5     devastating. I have had great pain and suffering at the hands

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6     of Bernie Madoff. My health deteriorated rapidly after

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7     December 11th. I could not eat or sleep. I was very agitated

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8     and hyperactive. I had all the signs and symptoms of someone

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9     undergoing great stress. I suffered rapid weight loss, rapid

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10  heart rate, sweating, insomnia and sometimes spells.

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11            I had the horrible feeling that I had been pushed into

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12  the great black abyss, but I could not indulge these paralyzing

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13  feelings too long. I had work to do. While experiencing all

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14  these symptoms, I had to sell my home of 25 years, sell may

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15  car, sell may possessions and go to work full time. I accepted

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16  gifts of money from family and friends to pay for heat,

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17  electricity, gasoline and food.

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18            I was the recipient of so many kindnesses and saw so

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19  much goodness in people. Goodness in people is something that

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20  you, Mr. Madoff, have been blind to your whole life, and that

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21  goodness is better than all the yachts and all the French homes

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22  in all the world put together.

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23            Sadly, Mr. Madoff not only defrauded thousands of

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24  investors, he mastered the art of manipulating our government.

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25  FINRA and the Securities & Exchange Commission became his

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1     tools. They were willing to relax all regulations that would

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2     have uncovered his fraud. The justification for relaxing the

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3     regulations was to ease the burden on Wall Street firms, the

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4     very firm that bankrupted the world economy.

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5              THE COURT: Ms. Ebel, this is not the time to

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6     criticize the agencies. That is not before me. What is before

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7     me is what sentence to impose, so if you would address that,

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8     please.

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9              MS. EBEL: I will, Judge Chin.

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10           Mr. Madoff, I have read you will be making a statement

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11  about your guilt and shame. I do not believe you. Judge Chin,

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12  Mr. Madoff should stay in jail until every person who enabled

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13  him to cause such a massive devastation is brought to justice.

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14  He should stay in jail until the families of every one of his

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15  victims are able to restore their financial stability. That

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16  could easily take 150 years. Thank you.

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17           THE COURT: Thank you. Next we'll hear from Mr. and

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18  Mrs. FitzMaurice.

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19           MR. FITZMAURICE: Thank you, Judge Chin, for allowing

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20  us to be heard in your courtroom today.

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21           My wife and I here are today representing the

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22  thousands of Madoff victims. We have all suffered extensively

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23  as a result of his actions. It has been well chronicled that

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24  Madoff did not limit his treachery to a few. He stole from the

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25  rich, he stole from the poor and he stole from the in-between.

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1     He had no boundaries. He stole from individuals as well as

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2     charitable organizations of all types and denominations.

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3              My wife and I are not millionaires. He has taken our

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4     entire life savings. We have not been overlooked just as many

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5     of his other victims. We have worked hard, long and hard for

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6     all of our lives to provide for our family and to be in a

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7     position to retire someday. I am now forced to work three

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8     jobs. My wife is working a full-time job only to make ends

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9     meet, to allow us to pay our mortgage and put food on the

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10  table.

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11           We are 63 years' old. It will be no retirement for us

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12  in the next two or three years. There will be no trips to

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13  California to visit our one-year-old grandson. There will be

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14  no vacations of any type. Again we are too old to recoup the

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15  monies that he has taken from us. We can only work as long as

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16  our health will hold up and then we will have to sell our home

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17  and hope to survive on social security alone.

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18           Madoff has shown no remorse. Please do not confuse

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19  his prepared statement as remorse. His crime was premeditated

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20  and calculated. He was attempting to scam investors only days

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21  before his arrest. If he had the opportunity, he would still

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22  be stealing from innocent investors. He has not truly

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23  cooperated with the authorities to recover the money that

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24  rightfully belongs to his investors, whom we are now known as

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25  victims.

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1              He cheated his victims out of their money so that he

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2     and his wife Ruth and their two sons could live a life of

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3     luxury beyond belief. This life is normally reserved for

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4     royalty, not for common thieves.

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5              Your Honor, we implore you to give him the maximum

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6     sentence at a maximum prison for this evil lowlife. This would

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7     be true justice. Minimum security prison would only allow

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8     Madoff too many freedoms that he does not deserve. He would be

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9     leading a life better than a lot of his victims. That is not

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10  true justice. His was a violent crime without the use of a

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11  tangible weapon.

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12           His attorney will argue for a lenient sentence of up

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13  to twelve years. That is both insulting and another example of

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14 Madoffs arrogance. The scope of the devastation he has

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15  wreaked is unparalleled. It is impossible to compare his crime

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16  to any past criminal act. The pain he has inflicted will

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17  continue for many years. My life will never be the same. I am

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18  financially ruined and will worry every day about how I will

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19  take care of my wife.

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20           Where will we be able to live? How will we pay our

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21  bills? How will we get medical insurance?

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22           All of his victims worldwide will be waiting to see

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23  that true justice is served. True justice is a maximum

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24  sentence in a maximum security prison. I have a quotation from

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25  my wife, since only one of us could speak. She wants to say:

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1              "I cry every day when I see the look of pain and

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2     despair in my husband's eyes. I cry for the life we once had

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3     before that monster took it away. Our two sons and

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4     daughter-in-law have rallied with constant love and support.

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5     You, on the other hand, Mr. Madoff, have two sons that despise

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6     you. Your wife, rightfully so, has been vilified and shunned

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7     by her friends in the community. You have left your children a

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8     legacy of shame. I have a marriage made in heaven. You have a

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9     marriage made in hell, and that is where you, Mr. Madoff, are

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10  going to return. May God spare you no mercy."

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11           THE COURT: Thank you.

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12           Next we will hear from Carla Hirschhorn.

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13           MS. HIRSCHHORN: Good morning and thank you, your

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14  Honor, for allowing me to address you.

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15           My husband and I write to you to explain the

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16  devastation caused by Bernard L. Madoff to our lives. Since

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17  1992 we were invested with Bernard L. Madoff Investment

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18  Securities. We have never been rich people. We have worked

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19  throughout all our adult lives. Over the years my husband has

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20  worked hard to learn a trade as a glazer which afforded him the

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21  opportunity to start a small business. I have been a physical

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22  therapist and worked through to the day I was graduated from

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23  college in 1980. We have both diligently saved our hard-earned

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24  money to invest with Bernard Madoff over the years. We used

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25  our money to raise our children, purchase our home and put our

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1     savings in Bernard Madoff Securities.

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2              On December 11th, 2008, our world crumbled beneath us

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3     as news of the Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme became public. This

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4     turn of events has been devastating to our family. We lost our

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5     entire life savings. This money was being used to provide our

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6     children with a college education they have worked so hard to

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7     deserve and to provide us with savings for a secure retirement.

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8              Since December 11th, 2008 life has been a living hell.

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9     It feels like a nightmare that we can't wake from. I am so

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10  thankful that my father died two years ago and was spared from

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11  having to live in his terminal condition without the money to

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12  provide him 24/7 health care which allowed him to die with

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13  indignity.

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14           My father died and left my mother believing she would

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15  be able to live a safe and secure life with the money in her

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16  Bernard Madoff accounts. Now all she has to live on is a

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17  sparce social security check and a small pension which will

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18  last less than one year. She may not have enough money to

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19  maintain her home and living expenses.

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20           It is our hope and in our prayers she does not become

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21  ill and require extraordinary means to sustain her. Our

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22  daughter who sits in this courtroom today to witness this

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23  horrific event is a junior at college and has worked two jobs

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24  since our Madoff accounts were stolen while going to school

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25  full time. The stress and worry about her family's financial

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1     situation and health of her parents has been devastating to

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2     her. We have no idea how we will continue to pay for college

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3     without it being a terrible financial burden and worry on all

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4     of us.

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5              Immediately after hearing the news of the ponzi

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6     scheme, we filed papers for financial aid to sustain our

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7     daughter through college. We were informed we were not

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8     eligible for any grant money, that our only hope would be to

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9     take out loans. However, in this financial environment,

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10  without SIPIC insurance and with concern about claw-back

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11  litigation, we can't possibly take loans out to send our

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12  daughter to college. The turmoil caused by our financial

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13  devastation has caused us serious physical and emotional

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14  problems from which we need medical treatment.

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15           Your Honor, please understand that we, the investors,

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16  have been punished by Madoffs crime. We were devastated by

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17  the SEC's failure to uncover Madoffs fraud and its continued

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18  stamp of approval behind Madoff over the decades of his crime.

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19  We have been abandoned by our elected officials which refuse to

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20  require the SEC to find income. We have been betrayed by

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21  SIPIC, which in order to save money, has invented a new

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22  definition of net equity to deprive us of the $500,000 of

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23  insurance of which we were assured.

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24           Please, your Honor, do not fail us. Please assure

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25  that Madoff is sentenced with the maximum possible time and he

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1     is required to serve his sentence in a maximum security prison.

476

2     This is not a man who deserves a federal country club.

477

3             Respectfully, Carla Hirschhorn.

478

4             THE COURT: Thank you.

479

5             It is not up to me, by the way, where Mr. Madoff will

480

6     be designated. A number of people have made that suggestion,

481

7     but it is up to the Bureau of Prisons.

482

8             Next we'll hear from Sharon Lissauer.

483

9             MS. LISSAUER: My name is Sharon Lissauer. Thank you,

484

10   your Honor, for letting me speak. I am very emotional, so

485

11   please bear with me if I break down into tears. As everyone

486

12   knows, this nightmare has begun six and a half months ago and

487

13   yet it seems like a lifetime.

488

14           I keep on thinking I am going to wake up from it. It

489

15   keeps on getting worse. My life and my future have been

490

16   ruined. I was always so careful with my money, but I entrusted

491

17   everything I had to Mr. Madoff, my whole life savings from

492

18   modeling and the inheritance of my mom. She just died last

493

19   year, and as soon as I got the money, because I just miss her

494

20   and I trusted Mr. Madoff so much, I gave it all to him, but now

495

21   I don't have my mom or the money.

496

22           I know I am not alone. I know he has ruined thousands

497

23   of people's lives. In the March hearing he said that he was

498

24   truly sorry, which I don't really believe, but even if it is a

499

25   little bit true, then I am not asking him, I am begging him, if

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503

1     he has any money from the offshore accounts or his family has

504

2     any money obtained from this horrible fraud, that they disgorge

505

3     it and give it back to the victims so they can have a little

506

4     bit of their lives back.

507

5              With respect to his sentencing, I used to think that

508

6     it didn't matter if he got 150 years, what would that do for

509

7     the victims? It wouldn't get their money back. But now upon

510

8     reflection, I think he should spend his whole life in jail

511

9     because what he has done is just despicable. He has ruined so

512

10  many people's lives. He killed my spirit and shattered my

513

11  dreams. He destroyed my trust in people. He destroyed my

514

12  life, and I have no other assets. I make very little money

515

13  from modeling and he left me in a very difficult position to

516

14  pay my bills and support myself. For the first time in my life

517

15  I am very, very frightened of my future.

518

16           Thank you, your Honor.

519

17           THE COURT: Thank you.

520

18           Next we'll hear from Burt Ross. Mr. Ross.

521

19           MR. ROSS: Your Honor, my name is Burt Ross and my

522

20  wife Joan and I lost $5 million because of the criminal acts of

523

21  Bernard Madoff. Not only have I lost the inheritance of my

524

22  father who worked his entire life, not only have I lost the

525

23  inheritance of my father who worked for his entire life so that

526

24  his children and his children's children can leave a better

527

25  life, I have lost our retirement accounts and funds in trust

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531

1     for our children.

532

2              The fact is though we are one of the fortunate ones

533

3     because we still have a roof over our heads, food on our table,

534

4     unlike so many others who have been forced to sell their homes,

535

5     who have been forced to sell their homes and pick up the pieces

536

6     of their lives.

537

7              Years ago I attended a Friends secondary school where

538

8     we thought that in each person there was an inner light, that

539

9     of God and everyone. For the life of me, as far as I have

540

10  searched, I cannot find that inner light in Bernard Madoff.

541

11           What can we possibly say about Madoff, that he was a

542

12  philanthropist, when the money he gave to charities he stole

543

13  from the very same charities he ultimately devastated; that he

544

14  was a good family man when he leaves his grandchildren a name

545

15  that mortifies them, a name which will live in infamy; that he

546

16  is genuinely remorseful for his conduct when the statement he

547

17  read in this very court was totally without emotion, when even

548

18  after confessing he fought to keep assets away from those he

549

19  hurt, when we all know his only regret was getting caught.

550

20           Can we say Madoff was a righteous Jew who served on

551

21  the boards of Jewish institutions when he sank so low, when he

552

22  sank so low as to steal from Elie Weisel, as if Weisel hasn't

553

23  already suffered enough in his lifetime.

554

24           A righteous Jew, when in reality nobody has done more

555

25  to reinforce the ugly stereotype that all we care about is

556

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559

1     money the fact is there are no people on this earth more

560

2     charitable? But we will survive. We have survived worse than

561

3     Madoff.

562

4              What Bernard L. Madoff did far transcends the loss of

563

5     money. It involves his betrayal of the virtues people hold

564

6     dearest -- love, friendship, trust -- and all so he can eat at

565

7     the finest restaurants, stay at the most luxurious resorts, and

566

8     travel on yachts and private jets. He has truly earned his

567

9     reputation for being the most despised person to be in America

568

10  today.

569

11           Several hundred years ago the Italian poet Dante in

570

12  his "The Divine Comedy" recognized fraud as the worst of sins,

571

13  the ultimate evil more than any other act contrary to God's

572

14  greatest gift to mankind -- love. In fact, he placed the

573

15  perpetrators of fraud in the lowest depths of hell, even below

574

16  those who had committed violent acts. And those who betrayed

575

17  their benefactors were the worst sinners of all, so in the

576

18  three mouths of Satan struggle Judas for betraying Jesus

577

19  Christ, and Brutus and Cassius for betraying Julius Caesar.

578

20           Please Allow me to take a liberty now by speaking for

579

21  many of those victims who because of frailty, privacy,

580

22  distance, or other reasons are unable to bear witness today.

581

23  We urge your Honor to commit Madoff to prison for the remainder

582

24  of his natural life, and when he leaves this earth virtually

583

25  unmourned, may Satan grow a forth mouth where Bernard L. Madoff

584

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586

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587

1     deserves to spend the rest of eternity.

588

2             Thank you.

589

3             THE COURT: Thank you. Next we'll hear from Michael

590

4     Schwartz.

591

5             MR. SCHWARTZ: Can everyone hear me?

592

6             My name is Michael Schwartz. I am 33 yearS' old. It

593

7     was my family's trust fund that helped fund the money for

594

8     Bernard Madoffs organization. Since I was a teenager, I

595

9     invested into what I thought was a forthright and legitimate

596

10   investment firm. During this time I made sure I lived well

597

11   within my means, nothing extravagant. I viewed my investment

598

12   as a safety net in case I should hit hard times or perhaps face

599

13   medical issues.

600

14           Unfortunately, several months ago, my job was

601

15   regionalized, eliminated. I was handed a letter of

602

16   recommendation and sent on my way. It didn't hit me until I

603

17   got home that the company that you ran had already taken my

604

18   life savings. At 33, I was wiped out.

605

19           I am one of the lucky ones by far. I have my health.

606

20   I am young, I have great friends, got a loving wife.

607

21   Unfortunately, the money you took from other members of my

608

22   family wasn't a minor setback. It was quite a bit more. Your

609

23   Honor, part of the trust fund wasn't set aside for a house in

610

24   the Hamptons, a large yacht or box seat to the Mets. No, part

611

25   of that money was set aside to take care of my twin brother who

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615

1     is mentally disabled, who at 33, he lives at home with my

616

2     parents and will need care and supervision for the rest of his

617

3     life.

618

4              In the final analysis, my family wants to remember

619

5     that in addition to stealing from retirees, veterans, widows,

620

6     Bernard Madoff stole from the disabled. Every time he cashed a

621

7     check and paid for his family's decadent lifestyle, he killed

622

8     dreams. My parents had a simple dream for my brother, a week

623

9     at summer camp, someday being able to live in a good, a good

624

10  group home. Thanks to Bernard Madoffs greed, complete lack of

625

11  ethics, that dream will be delayed.

626

12            At the end of the day my twin brother will be taken

627

13  care of. My family is strong enough to weather this storm but,

628

14  your Honor, I say this without any malice, Bernard Madoff

629

15  should no longer be allowed back in society. I only hope that

630

16  his prison sentence is long enough so that his jail cell

631

17  becomes his coffin. Thank you.

632

18            THE COURT: Thank you.

633

19            We'll hear next from Miriam Siegman.

634

20            MS. SIEGMAN: I was born a few blocks from this

635

21  courthouse. I still live here. On a cold winter's day just

636

22  before my 65th birthday, the man sitting in front of me

637

23  announced to the world that he had stolen everything I had.

638

24  After that he refused to say another word to his victims. I am

639

25  here today to bear witness for myself and others, silent

640

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96TJMAD1                       Sentence

643

1     victims.

644

2              The streets of my childhood felt safe. The streets I

645

3     wander now feel threatening. The man sitting in this courtroom

646

4     robbed me. In an instant his words and deeds beat me to near

647

5     senselessness. He discarded me like road kill. Victims became

648

6     the byproduct of his greed. We are what is left over, the

649

7     remnants of stunning indifference and that of politicians and

650

8     bureaucrats.

651

9              Six months have passed. I manage on food stamps. At

652

10  the end of the month I sometimes scavage in dumpsters. I

653

11  cannot afford new eyeglasses. I long to go to a concert, but I

654

12  never do. Sometimes my heartbeats erratically for lack of

655

13  medication when I cannot pay for it.

656

14            I shine my shoes each night, afraid they will wear

657

15  out. My laundry is done by hand in the kitchen sink. I have

658

16  collected empty cans and dragged them to redemption centers.

659

17            I do this. People ask how are you? My answer always

660

18  is I'm fine, but it is not always true. I have lived with

661

19  fear. It strikes me at all hours. I calculate again and again

662

20  how long I can hold out.

663

21            It is only a matter of time. I will be unable to meet

664

22  my own basic needs, food, shelter, medicine. I feel grief at

665

23  no longer being able to help support my beloved sister. I feel

666

24  shame and humiliation asking for help.

667

25            I also feel overwhelming sadness. I know that another

668

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96TJMAD1                       Sentence

671

1     human being did this to me and to all victims, but I don't know

672

2     why. What I do understand frightens me. The man who did this

673

3     had deep contempt for his victims.

674

4              There are many victims including those we never hear

675

5     from or see; union members, pipe-fitters, laborers, women who

676

6     work in nursing homes, bricklayers, firemen, working people.

677

7     One victim shot himself. The inquest informs us he was a

678

8     highly decorated former soldier who could not face the shame of

679

9     his ruin, his last words on a humanitarian mission in

680

10  Afghanistan. By self-admission, this thief among us knew his

681

11  victims were facing a kind of death at his hands, yet he

682

12  continued to play with us as a cat would with a mouse.

683

13            What shall be the punishment for such a man? What

684

14  sentence? Carry the burden we carry, feel his shame,

685

15  humiliation and isolation as I do. Feel it each day wherever

686

16  you are until life ends.

687

17            Face an acknowledge the murderous effects of your

688

18  life's work. I long for the truth that might become of a trial

689

19  and hope justice had placed a higher premium on truth and

690

20  expediency. Forgiveness for now, it will have to come from

691

21  someone other than me.

692

22            THE COURT: Thank you. Finally we'll hear from Sheryl

693

23  Weinstein.

694

24            MS. WEINSTEIN: Hello, your Honor.

695

25            THE COURT: Good morning.

696

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699

1             MS. WEINSTEIN: I was introduced to Bernard Madoff 21

700

2     years ago at a business meeting. At the time I was the chief

701

3     financial officer of Hadassah, a charitable women's

702

4     organization. I now view that day as perhaps the unluckiest

703

5     day of my life because of the many events set into motion that

704

6     would eventually have the most profound and devastating effect

705

7     on me, my husband, my child, my parents, my in-laws and all

706

8     those who depended upon us for their liveliness.

707

9             You have read and you appear from many of us, the old,

708

10  the young, the healthy and infirm about the unimaginable extent

709

11  of human tragedy and devastation. According to a Time Magazine

710

12  article, there are over 3 million individuals worldwide who

711

13  have been directly or indirectly affected. They, the press and

712

14  the media, speak of us as being greedy and rich. Most of us

713

15  are just ordinary working people, worker bees, as I like to

714

16  refer to us.

715

17           My husband and I are now both in our 60's and have

716

18  been married for 37 years. We have saved for most of our lives

717

19  by living beneath our means in order to provide for our

718

20  retirement. This past Thursday at 2:00 o'clock my husband and

719

21  I sold our home of 20 years. People are always asking how much

720

22  did we lose? My reply is that when you lose everything, it

721

23  really doesn't matter because you have nothing left, and we

722

24  have lost everything.

723

25           Many have told us we were lucky -- I no longer know -­

724

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726

96TJMAD1                       Sentence

727

1     to be able to sell in this depressed market although at a

728

2     greatly reduced amount. We had to sell because four years ago

729

3     we refinanced our mortgage and gave the excess cash to Bernie

730

4     Madoff. There was very little left over after all was said and

731

5     done at the closing.

732

6              It is difficult to describe how it feels due to

733

7     circumstances outside of your control to be virtually forced

734

8     out of your home, to leave unwillingly. Last Tuesday I walked

735

9     out following the movers with a thought I would be back before

736

10  the closing, but knowing in the back of my mind that I

737

11  wouldn't.

738

12           My husband was the last to be in our home. He shared

739

13  with me his hesitation of not wanting to leave, of wanting to

740

14  remain, but realizing that staying was no longer an option. We

741

15  chose not to go to the closing because it would have been too

742

16  difficult and painful for either of us to be there. For months

743

17  after December 11th I would wake in the dark hours of the night

744

18  and early morning and to my horror realize that there were no

745

19  calming, soothing words I could say to myself because it wasn't

746

20  a dream. The monster who visited me was true, a reality.

747

21  Those same thoughts would occur to me upon waking in the

748

22  morning and during the day and a deep, heavy depression would

749

23  surround me and not lift.

750

24           This went one for many months. I went on after bad

751

25  dreams, virtually not unable to eat. The sight of food was

752

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96TJMAD1                       Sentence

755

1     making me feel sick, unable to escape the reality of my

756

2     personal devastation. At times I could not even bear to be

757

3     alone. I would ask my friends to either stay with me at the

758

4     office even if there was very little work to do. It would

759

5     prompt me to pick up the phone to call my husband to be

760

6     reassured I was not alone.

761

7              This continued until March 12th when Madoff entered

762

8     his plea of guilty. I began to speak out to the media, and the

763

9     helpless and hopeless feelings began to retreat and I began to

764

10  feel empowered. It came together for me while being

765

11  interviewed by Katie Couric. She asked me wasn't I embarrassed

766

12  being a CPA losing all my money? At that moment I realized and

767

13  responded no, I am not embarrassed because I did not lose my

768

14  money. My money was stolen from me.

769

15           Ms. Couric said to me you sound angry, and I said yes,

770

16  you're right. When someone steals from you, you get angry.

771

17  That was the beginning of my healing process.

772

18           I felt it was important for somebody who as personally

773

19  acquainted with Madoff to speak. My family and I are not

774

20  anonymous people to him. He knows my husband's name is Rob and

775

21  my son's name is Eric. In fact, Eric worked for him one summer

776

22  while in college many years ago. Eric would continue to call

777

23  him over the years to ask for his advice and input. Eric

778

24  entrusted him with his money that he worked and saved. a few

779

25  months before all this happened Eric had spoken to him and

780

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782

96TJMAD1                       Sentence

783

1     thanked him for doing such a good job.

784

2              I would now like to have the opportunity to share with

785

3     you my personal feelings about Madoff and to speak to his

786

4     sentencing.

787

5              I remember when my son was perhaps a few weeks' old

788

6     and I would watch him as he slept and he would whimper, not a

789

7     cry of hunger, but a whimper. Even at a few weeks' old there

790

8     was something in his subconscious that could frighten him. It

791

9     amazed me such a young child, an infant can have nightmares.

792

10           All of us from our earliest ages remember those times

793

11  when the terror, the monsters and goblins would come visit us

794

12  in those dark hours. Eventually we would be so frightened that

795

13  we would awake sometimes calling out to our parents because of

796

14  the fear.

797

15           It was calming to have our parents remind us it was

798

16  only a dream. As we got older, we could wake ourselves and

799

17  self-assure ourselves it was only a dream. That terror, that

800

18  monster, that horror, that beast has a name to me, and it is

801

19  Bernard L. Madoff. I will now attempt to explain to you the

802

20  nature of this beast who I called Madoff.

803

21           He walks among us. He dresses like us. He drives and

804

22  eats and drinks and speaks. Under the facade there is truly a

805

23  beast. He is a beast that has stolen for his own needs the

806

24  livelihoods, savings, lives, hopes and dreams and futures of

807

25  others in total disregard. He has fed upon us to satisfy his

808

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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810

96TJMAD1                       Sentence

811

1     own needs. No matter how much he takes and from whom he takes,

812

2     he is never satisfied. He is an equal opportunity destroyer.

813

3             I felt it important for you to know in appearance, he

814

4     would be just like everybody else and it is for this reason I

815

5     am asking your Honor to keep him in a cage behind bars because

816

6     he has lost the privilege of walking and being among us mortal

817

7     human beings. He should not be given the opportunity to walk

818

8     into our society again.

819

9             I would like to suggest that while any man, woman or

820

10  child that has been affected by his heinous crime still walks

821

11  this earth, Madoff the beast should not be free to walk among

822

12  them. You should protect society from the likes of him. I

823

13  have reread Madoff's March 12th statement to you. Certain

824

14  quotes jumped out at me. His continuing self-serving

825

15  references, and I quote, that his proprietary trading in the

826

16  market making business managed by his brother and two sons was

827

17  legitimate, profitable and successful in all respects, or that

828

18  he felt, "compelled to satisfy my clients' expectations at any

829

19  cost."

830

20           It sounds as if he is laying the blame on his clients'

831

21  expectations and never admitting the truth he was stealing from

832

22  these clients and the lives he ruined. If he was attempting to

833

23  protect his family, he should not be given that opportunity

834

24  because we, the victims, did not have the same opportunity to

835

25  protect our families. Madoff the beast has stolen our ability

836

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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838

1

839

2

840

3

841

4

842

5

843

6

844

7

845

8

846

9

847

10 11 12

848

13

849

14

850

15

851

16

852

17

853

18

854

19

855

20 21 22

856

23

857

24

858

25

859

96TJMAD1                Sentence

860

to protect our loved ones away from us. He should have no opportunity to protect his family.

861

We, the victims, are greatly disappointed by those agencies that were set up to protect us. SIPIC has now redefined what we are entitled to. The IRS approved their office request to be a custodian of our IRAs and pension funds and the SEC appears to have looked the other way on numerous occasions. This is a human tragedy of historic proportions and we ask -- no, we implore -- that those whose agencies may have failed us in the past through acts of omissions, step up to the plate, fulfill their responsibilities. I thank your Honor for your indulgence and I feel comfortable you will make sure justice is served.

862

Thank you.

863

THE COURT: Thank you.

864

Thanks to all the victims who spoke today and to all those who wrote. I appreciate hearing your views.

865

Mr. Sorkin.

866
  1. SORKIN: Good morning, your Honor.
867

THE COURT: Good morning.

868
  1. SORKIN: Before I speak, would your Honor respectfully acknowledge you have received both the government's sentencing memorandum and two responses?
869

THE COURT: Yes, I have your initial letter I received yesterday and your reply brief. I have the government's SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

870

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871

96TJMAD1                    Sentence

872

1     memorandum as well.

873

2             MR.   SORKIN:      Thank you.

874

3            THE    COURT:       I have read them all.

875

4             MR.   SORKIN:                   Thank you,    your Honor.

876

5            May   I proceed?

877

6            THE    COURT:       Yes.

878

7              MR. SORKIN: Your Honor, I know I speak on behalf of

879

8     all Mr. Madoff's counsel as well as Mr. Madoff who will speak.

880

9     We cannot be unmoved by what we heard. There is no way that we

881

10   cannot be insensitive to the victims' suffering.

882

11            This is a tragedy as some of the victims have said at

883

12   every level. There is no doubt Mr. Madoff will speak. We

884

13   represent a deeply flawed individual, but we represent, your

885

14   Honor, a human being. We don't represent a statistic. We

886

15   don't represent a number. We speak to the victims. We have

887

16   heard what they've had to say and we can only imagine, your

888

17   Honor, what we would have heard from others.

889

18            I say again, forgive me for being redundant, we

890

19   represent a very flawed individual, an individual who appears

891

20   before this court facing a sentence that is sufficient but not

892

21   unreasonably necessary to carry out the mandate that this court

893

22   has to carry out.

894

23            The magnificence of our legal system, your Honor, is

895

24   that we do not seek an eye for an eye. To be sure, if it is

896

25   any consolation to the victims, we have worked hopefully

897

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96TJMAD1                       Sentence

900

1     diligently with the U.S. Attorney's Office in an atmosphere of

901

2     trying to recover assets. To that extent, your Honor, we have

902

3     provided the government with what we believe to be the assets

903

4     that Mr. Madoff has gathered over the years which the victims

904

5     have referred to, and again if it is any consolation to them,

905

6     to the extent that the government has left him and his family,

906

7     his wife impoverished, we are just about there with respect to

907

8     everything the government believes it can show in order to

908

9     obtain the appropriate assets for forfeiture.

909

10            Vengeance is not the goal of punishment. Our system

910

11  of justice, your Honor, has recognized that justice is and must

911

12  always be blind and fair -- not blind to the criminal acts that

912

13  Mr. Madoff pleaded guilty to and certainly not blind to the

913

14  suffering of the victims, but blind to the extent that it will

914

15  achieve a sentence that has been set out over the years in the

915

16  guidelines and the cases interpreting the guidelines, and the

916

17  guidelines and the courts and the statutes, your Honor, do not

917

18  speak of vengeance and revenge.

918

19            There is something bordering on the absurd, and we

919

20  cited United States versus Ellison on this point, your Honor.

920

21  For the government to ask for 150 years so that Mr. Madoff gets

921

22  out of jail at the age of 221 because he is 71 now, he will

922

23  face supervised release. By the same token, your Honor, it

923

24  defies reason for the Probation Department to suggest that he

924

25  be sentenced to 50 years in prison for the very same reasons.

925

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

926

(212)805-0300

927

96TJMAD1                       Sentence

928

1             I point out to the court, and forgive me, your Honor,

929

2     for repeating what is in the letter we sent you most recently,

930

3     that Mr. Madoff, as he pleaded to, as appears in the

931

4     presentence report and appears in the information in which the

932

5     government agrees, for most of the period of time that Mr.

933

6     Madoff is alleged to have engaged in this ponzi scheme and, in

934

7     fact, it was a ponzi scheme, it was money in and money out.

935

8             Most of the money, and I am quoting from the PSR, went

936

9     for redemptions. People who invested money were given back

937

10  money. To be sure, it was a fraud. To be sure, it was a ponzi

938

11  scheme. To be sure, it was a crime, but nevertheless, your

939

12  Honor, I point out, and in response respectfully to some of the

940

13  victims, the PSR noted, and I think it is common knowledge in

941

14  the industry that Mr. Madoff built up this firm on the

942

15  proprietary trading side to the point in 1991, as the

943

16  presentence report points out, the proprietary trading side

944

17  which at the point of his arrest had approximately 200

945

18  employees separate and apart from the fraudulent advisory

946

19  business, a hundred traders making markets and in 1991, your

947

20  Honor, accounted for almost 10 percent of all transactions on

948

21  the New Y ork Stock Exchange.

949

22           Sufficient to provide revenue at the same time Mr.

950

23  Madoff engaged in taking money in and taking money out, most of

951

24  that money went for redemptions. As we point out in our letter

952

25  of yesterday, and as the government notes and as the PSR notes,

953

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

954

(212)805-0300

955

96TJMAD1                       Sentence

956

1    the loans, the comingling, and we we do dispute this with the

957

2    government, but I don't think it is a relevant issue, the

958

3    comingling, the loans.

959

4             (Continued on next page)

960

5

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6

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8

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9

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10 11 12

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13

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14

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17

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19

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23

975

24

976

25

977

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

978

(212)805-0300

979

96T8MAD2

980

1             MR. SORKIN: The loans, the commingling, commenced

981

2     within the last eight to ten years. And as Mr. Madoff will

982

3     say, things began to collapse. And there was commingling with

983

4     $250 million over the last eight or so years, of advisory

984

5     money, as well as money in, money out of investments.

985

6             I think it's important to note, your Honor, again that

986

7     Mr. Madoff stepped forward. He chose not to flee. He chose

987

8     not to hide money. To the extent money is overseas, we are

988

9     still actively engaged -- we, his defense counsel -- in

989

10  assisting the government, at the request of the government, to

990

11  obtain assets located overseas, as we speak, and we submitted

991

12  that voluntarily, and we have been trying to help, with

992

13  Mr. Madoff's authorization, permission, and blessing.

993

14           Mr. Madoff is 71 years old, your Honor. Based upon

994

15  his health, which is in the PSR, his family history, his life

995

16  expectancy, that is why we ask for a sentence of 12 years, just

996

17  short, based upon the statistics that we have, of a life

997

18  sentence.

998

19           We also said, if your Honor is inclined, your Honor

999

20  obviously makes the decision, 15 to 20 years. So that if

1000

21  Mr. Madoff ever sees the light of day, in his 90s, impoverished

1001

22  and alone, he will have paid a terrible price. He expects,

1002

23  your Honor, to live out his years in prison.

1003

24           The PSR points out, your Honor, as we noted in our

1004

25  letter to you, that the loss in this case is $13,226,000,000.

1005

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1006

(212)805-0300

1007

96T8MAD2

1008

1     The exact numbers are in the PSR. What has not been heard

1009

2     publicly, your Honor, is the fact that over $1,276,000,000 is

1010

3     held by the SIPC trustee, and we have no control over how that

1011

4     money is disbursed. And I say this for the victims we have

1012

5     heard. Again, we have no control over what the SIPC trustee

1013

6     does with the money that he obtains, nor do we have any control

1014

7     over what the SEC will do, nor do we have any control as to how

1015

8     the government to whom we have forfeited all of the assets but

1016

9     a few, which the government and we have agreed were weighed

1017

10  against the risk of litigation, we have no control how that

1018

11  money is disbursed.

1019

12            Additionally to the $1,276,000,000, the SIPC trustee,

1020

13  according to the PSR, has recovered $1,225,000,000, has sent

1021

14  demand letters to individuals for 735 million, and has

1022

15  commenced litigation to seek a clawback from some very large

1023

16  funds to obtain redemptions and interest payments in the amount

1024

17  of $10,100,000,000. It is our hope, your Honor, our sincerest

1025

18  hope, that all that money is collected, in an amount in excess

1026

19  of $13,226,000,000, that that will be provided to investors.

1027

20            The frenzy, the media excitement, that Mr. Madoff

1028

21  engaged in a Ponzi scheme involving $65 billion and that he has

1029

22  ferreted money away, as far as we know, your Honor, that is

1030

23  simply not true, and it is not borne out either by the

1031

24  government or by the PSR, and we take no issue with the PSR.

1032

25            In closing, your Honor, there is no question that this

1033

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1034

(212)805-0300

1035

96T8MAD2

1036

1     case has taken an enormous toll, not only on Mr. Madoff and his

1037

2     family, but to the victims to be sure. But it has also taken a

1038

3     toll, your Honor, as Mr. Madoff will say, on the industry that

1039

4     he helped revolutionize, that he helped grow, and now has

1040

5     become the object of disrespect and abomination, and that is a

1041

6     tragedy as well.

1042

7              We ask only, your Honor, that Mr. Madoff be given

1043

8     understanding and fairness, within the parameters of our legal

1044

9     system, and that the sentence that he be given be sufficient,

1045

10  but not greater than necessary, to carry out what this Court

1046

11  must carry out under the rules, statutes and guidelines.

1047

12            Thank you, your Honor.

1048

13            THE COURT: Thank you.

1049

14            Mr. Madoff, if you would like to speak, now is the

1050

15  time.

1051

16            THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor, I cannot offer you an

1052

17  excuse for my behavior. How do you excuse betraying thousands

1053

18  of investors who entrusted me with their life savings? How do

1054

19  you excuse deceiving 200 employees who have spent most of their

1055

20  working life working for me? How do you excuse lying to your

1056

21  brother and two sons who spent their whole adult life helping

1057

22  to build a successful and respectful business? How do you

1058

23  excuse lying and deceiving a wife who stood by you for 50

1059

24  years, and still stands by you? And how do you excuse

1060

25  deceiving an industry that you spent a better part of your life

1061

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1062

(212)805-0300

1063

96T8MAD2

1064

1     trying to improve? There is no excuse for that, and I don't

1065

2     ask any forgiveness.

1066

3              Although I may not have intended any harm, I did a

1067

4     great deal of harm. I believed when I started this problem,

1068

5     this crime, that it would be something I would be able to work

1069

6     my way out of, but that became impossible. As hard as I tried,

1070

7     the deeper I dug myself into a hole. I made a terrible

1071

8     mistake, but it wasn't the kind of mistake that I had made time

1072

9     and time again, which is a trading mistake. In my business,

1073

10  when you make a trading error, you're expected to make a

1074

11  trading error, it's accepted. My error was much more serious.

1075

12  I made an error of judgment. I refused to accept the fact,

1076

13  could not accept the fact, that for once in my life I failed.

1077

14  I couldn't admit that failure and that was a tragic mistake.

1078

15           I am responsible for a great deal of suffering and

1079

16  pain. I understand that. I live in a tormented state now

1080

17  knowing of all the pain and suffering that I have created. I

1081

18  have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed

1082

19  out, to my family and my grandchildren. That's something I

1083

20  will live with for the rest of my life.

1084

21           People have accused me of being silent and not being

1085

22  sympathetic. That is not true. They have accused my wife of

1086

23  being silent and not being sympathetic. Nothing could be

1087

24  further from the truth. She cries herself to sleep every night

1088

25  knowing of all the pain and suffering I have caused, and I am

1089

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1090

(212)805-0300

1091

96T8MAD2

1092

1     tormented by that as well. She was advised to not speak

1093

2     publicly until after my sentencing by our attorneys, and she

1094

3     complied with that. Today she will make a statement about how

1095

4 she feels about my crimes. I ask you to listen to that. She

1096

5 is sincere and all I ask you is to listen to her.

1097

6              Apologizing and saying I am sorry, that's not enough.

1098

7     Nothing I can say will correct the things that I have done. I

1099

8     feel terrible that an industry I spent my life trying to

1100

9     improve is being criticized terribly now, that regulators who I

1101

10  helped work with over the years are being criticized by what I

1102

11  have done. That is a horrible guilt to live with. There is

1103

12  nothing I can do that will make anyone feel better for the pain

1104

13  and suffering I caused them, but I will live with this pain,

1105

14  with this torment for the rest of my life.

1106

15            I apologize to my victims. I will turn and face you.

1107

16  I am sorry. I know that doesn't help you.

1108

17            Your Honor, thank you for listening to me.

1109

18            THE COURT: Thank you.

1110

19            Mr. Sorkin, did I understand Mr. Madoff to say that

1111

20  Mrs. Madoff wanted to speak?

1112

21            MR. SORKIN: No, your Honor. Mrs. Madoff after the

1113

22  sentencing will be giving a statement. And I add what

1114

23  Mr. Madoff said about belaboring it, that she was advised by

1115

24  counsel to wait till after sentence.

1116

25            THE COURT: I thought he was saying she wanted to

1117

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1118

(212)805-0300

1119

96T8MAD2

1120

1     speak. Thank you.

1121

2             I will hear from the government.

1122

3             MS. BARONI: This defendant carried out a fraud of

1123

4     unprecedented proportion over the course of more than a

1124

5     generation. For more than 20 years he stole ruthlessly and

1125

6     without remorse. Thousands of people placed their trust in him

1126

7     and he lied repeatedly to all of them. And as the Court heard

1127

8     from all of the victims, in their words and in the letters, he

1128

9     destroyed a lifetime of hard work of thousands of victims. And

1129

10  he used that victims' money to enrich himself and his family,

1130

11  with an opulent lifestyle, homes around the world, yachts,

1131

12  private jets, and tens of millions of dollars of loans to his

1132

13  family, loans of investors' money that has never been repaid.

1133

14           The guideline sentence in this case, as your Honor

1134

15  knows, is 150 years and the government respectfully submits

1135

16  that a sentence of 150 years or a substantial term of

1136

17  imprisonment that will ensure that he spends the rest of his

1137

18  life in jail is appropriate in this case.

1138

19           This was not a crime born of any financial distress or

1139

20  market pressures. It was a calculated, well orchestrated,

1140

21  long-term fraud, that this defendant carried out month after

1141

22  month, year after year, decade after decade. He created

1142

23  literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of fake documents

1143

24  every year. Every time he told his clients that he was making

1144

25  trades for them he sent them trade confirmations filled with

1145

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1146

(212)805-0300

1147

96T8MAD2

1148

1     lies. At every month end he sent them account statements that

1149

2     were nothing but lies. And the defendant knew that his clients

1150

3     made critically important life decisions, as your Honor heard

1151

4     today, based on these lies. Decisions about their children's

1152

5     education, their retirement, how to care for elderly relatives,

1153

6     and how to provide for their families. He knew this, and he

1154

7     stole from them anyway.

1155

8              In doing so, he drove charities, companies, pension

1156

9     plans and families to economic ruin. And even on the most

1157

10  dispassionate view of the evidence, the scale of the fraud,

1158

11  which is at a conservative estimate, your Honor, $13 billion,

1159

12  when you look at the duration of the fraud, which is more than

1160

13  20 years, when you look at the fact that the defendant could

1161

14  have stopped this fraud and saved the victims' losses, all of

1162

15  these facts justify a guideline sentence of 150 years.

1163

16           And to address briefly some of Mr. Sorkin's arguments,

1164

17  despite Mr. Sorkin's arguments, the defendant here deserves no

1165

18  leniency and certainly does not deserve a sentence of 12 years'

1166

19  imprisonment.

1167

20           Mr. Sorkin tries to argue that the loss amount is

1168

21  actually going to be less than 13 billion because the trustee

1169

22  may recover some assets in clawback proceedings. As your Honor

1170

23  knows, that has nothing to do with the loss amount in this

1171

24  case. Further, the defendant shouldn't get any credit for

1172

25  anything the government or the trustee does after the fraud to

1173

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1174

(212)805-0300

1175

1

1176

2

1177

3

1178

4

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5

1180

6

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7

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8

1183

9

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10 11 12

1185

13

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14

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15

1188

16

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17

1190

18

1191

19

1192

20 21 22

1193

23

1194

24

1195

25

1196

96T8MAD2 recover money.

1197

In asking for 12 years, your Honor, the defendant is asking you to impose a sentence that a defendant would receive in a garden variety fraud case in this district, a case with about $20 million of losses and far fewer victims. In imposing a 12 year sentence in this case, on the facts and circumstances here, would be profoundly unfair. Not only would it not reflect the seriousness and the scope of the defendant's crimes, but, also, it would not promote the goals of general deterrence going forward.

1198

Mr. Sorkin's argument that the defendant should get some credit for coming forward and turning himself in is also entirely meritless. The defendant continued his fraud scheme until the very end, when he knew the scheme was days away from collapse, when he was almost out of money and when he was faced with redemption requests from clients that he knew he could not meet. And even at that point, rather than turning himself in, he tried to take the last of his victims' money. He prepared $173 million in checks that he planned to give to his family, his friends, and some preferred clients. It was his final effort to put his interests above those of his clients, and had the FBI not arrested him when they did, he might well have succeeded.

1199

Your Honor, in sum, for running an investment advisory business that was a complete fraud, for betraying his clients SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1200

(212)805-0300

1201

96T8MAD2

1202

1     for decades, and for repeatedly lying to regulators to cover up

1203

2     his fraud, for the staggering harm that he has inflicted on

1204

3     thousands of people, for all of these reasons and all of the

1205

4     reasons your Honor heard so eloquently from the victims, the

1206

5     government respectfully requests that the Court sentence the

1207

6     defendant to 150 years in prison or a substantial term of

1208

7     imprisonment that ensures that he will spend the rest of his

1209

8     life in jail.

1210

9              Thank you.

1211

10            THE COURT: Thank you.

1212

11            I take into account what I have read in the

1213

12  presentence report, the parties' sentencing submissions, and

1214

13  the e-mails and letters from victims. I take into account what

1215

14  I have heard today. I also consider the statutory factors as

1216

15  well as all the facts and circumstances in the case.

1217

16            In his initial letter on behalf of Mr. Madoff, Mr.

1218

17  Sorkin argues that the unified tone of the victims' letters

1219

18  suggests a desire for mob vengeance. He also writes that

1220

19  Mr. Madoff seeks neither mercy nor sympathy, but justice and

1221

20  objectivity.

1222

21            Despite all the emotion in the air, I do not agree

1223

22  with the suggestion that victims and others are seeking mob

1224

23  vengeance. The fact that many have sounded similar themes does

1225

24  not mean that they are acting together as a mob. I do agree

1226

25  that a just and proportionate sentence must be determined,

1227

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1228

(212)805-0300

1229

96T8MAD2

1230

1     objectively, and without hysteria or undue emotion.

1231

2              Objectively speaking, the fraud here was staggering.

1232

3     It spanned more than 20 years. Mr. Madoff argues in his reply

1233

4     letter that the fraud did not begin until the 1990s. I guess

1234

5     it's more that the commingling did not begin until the 1990s,

1235

6     but it is clear that the fraud began earlier. And even if it

1236

7     is true that it only started in the 1990s, the fraud exceeded

1237

8     ten years, still an extraordinarily long period of time. The

1238

9     fraud reached thousands of victims.

1239

10           As for the amount of the monetary loss, there appears

1240

11  to be some disagreement. Mr. Madoff disputes that the loss

1241

12  amount is $65 billion or even $13 billion. But Mr. Madoff has

1242

13  now acknowledged, however, that some $170 billion flowed into

1243

14  his business as a result of his fraudulent scheme. The

1244

15  presentence report uses a loss amount of $13 billion, but as I

1245

16  understand it, that number does not include the losses from

1246

17  moneys invested through the feeder funds. That's what the PSR

1247

18  states. Mr. Madoff argues that the $13 billion amount should

1248

19  be reduced by the amounts that the SIPC trustee may be able to

1249

20  claw back, but that argument fails. Those clawbacks, if they

1250

21  happened, will result in others who suffered losses. Moreover,

1251

22  Mr. Madoff told his sons that there were $50 billion in losses.

1252

23  In any event, by any of these monetary measures, the fraud here

1253

24  is unprecedented.

1254

25           Moreover, the offense level of 52 is calculated by

1255

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1256

(212)805-0300

1257

96T8MAD2

1258

1     using a chart for loss amount that only goes up to $400

1259

2     million. By any of these measures, the loss figure here is

1260

3     many times that amount. It's off the chart by many fold.

1261

4              Moreover, as many of the victims have pointed out,

1262

5     this is not just a matter of money. The breach of trust was

1263

6     massive. Investors -- individuals, charities, pension funds,

1264

7     institutional clients -- were repeatedly lied to, as they were

1265

8     told their moneys would be invested in stocks when they were

1266

9     not. Clients were sent these millions of pages of account

1267

10  statements that the government just alluded to confirming

1268

11  trades that were never made, attesting to balances that did not

1269

12  exist. As the victims' letters and e-mails demonstrate, as the

1270

13  statements today demonstrate, investors made important life

1271

14  decisions based on these fictitious account statements -- when

1272

15  to retire, how to care for elderly parents, whether to buy a

1273

16  car or sell a house, how to save for their children's college

1274

17  tuition. Charitable organizations and pension funds made

1275

18  important decisions based on false information about fictitious

1276

19  accounts. Mr. Madoff also repeatedly lied to the SEC and the

1277

20  regulators, in writing and in sworn testimony, by withholding

1278

21  material information, by creating false documents to cover up

1279

22  his scheme.

1280

23           It is true that Mr. Madoff used much of the money to

1281

24  pay back investors who asked along the way to withdraw their

1282

25  accounts. But large sums were also taken by him, for his

1283

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1284

(212)805-0300

1285

96T8MAD2

1286

1     personal use and the use of his family, friends, and

1287

2     colleagues. The PSR shows, for example, that Mr. Madoff

1288

3     reported adjusted gross income of more than $250 million on his

1289

4     tax returns for the ten year period from 1998 through 2007. On

1290

5     numerous occasions, Mr. Madoff used his firm's bank accounts

1291

6     which contained customer funds to pay for his personal expenses

1292

7     and those of his family, including, for example, the purchase

1293

8     of a Manhattan apartment for a relative, the acquisition of two

1294

9     yachts, and the acquisition of four country club memberships at

1295

10  a cost of $950,000. Billions of dollars more were paid to

1296

11  individuals who generated investments for Mr. Madoff through

1297

12  these feeder funds.

1298

13            Mr. Madoff argues a number of mitigating factors but

1299

14  they are less than compelling. It is true that he essentially

1300

15  turned himself in and confessed to the FBI. But the fact is

1301

16  that with the turn in the economy, he was not able to keep up

1302

17  with the requests of customers to withdraw their funds, and it

1303

18  is apparent that he knew that he was going to be caught soon.

1304

19  It is true that he consented to the entry of a $100 billion

1305

20  forfeiture order and has cooperated in transferring assets to

1306

21  the government for liquidation for the benefit of victims. But

1307

22  all of this was done only after he was arrested, and there is

1308

23  little that he could have done to fight the forfeiture of these

1309

24  assets. Moreover, the SIPC trustee has advised the Court

1310

25  Mr. Madoff has not been helpful, and I simply do not get the

1311

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1312

(212)805-0300

1313

96T8MAD2

1314

1     sense that Mr. Madoff has done all that he could or told all

1315

2     that he knows.

1316

3              Mrs. Madoff has stipulated to the transfer of some $80

1317

4     dollars in assets to the government for the benefit of victims,

1318

5     but the record also shows that as it became clear that

1319

6     Mr. Madoffs scheme was unraveling, he made substantial loans

1320

7     to family members, he transferred some $15 million of firm

1321

8     funds into his wife's personal accounts, and he wrote out the

1322

9     checks that the government has just described.

1323

10            I have taken into account the sentences imposed in

1324

11  other financial fraud cases in this district. But, frankly,

1325

12  none of these other cases is comparable to this case in terms

1326

13  of the scope, duration and enormity of the fraud, and the

1327

14  degree of the betrayal.

1328

15            In terms of mitigating factors in a white-collar fraud

1329

16  case such as this, I would expect to see letters from family

1330

17  and friends and colleagues. But not a single letter has been

1331

18  submitted attesting to Mr. Madoffs good deeds or good

1332

19  character or civic or charitable activities. The absence of

1333

20  such support is telling.

1334

21            We have heard much about a life expectancy analysis.

1335

22  Based on this analysis, Mr. Madoff has a life expectancy of 13

1336

23  years, and he therefore asks for a sentence of 12 years or

1337

24  alternatively 15 to 20 years. If Mr. Sorkin's life expectancy

1338

25  analysis is correct, any sentence above 20 or 25 years would be

1339

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

1340

(212)805-0300

1341

96T8MAD2

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1     largely, if not entirely, symbolic.

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2              But the symbolism is important, for at least three

1344

3     reasons. First, retribution. One of the traditional notions

1345

4     of punishment is that an offender should be punished in

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5     proportion to his blameworthiness. Here, the message must be

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6     sent that Mr. Madoffs crimes were extraordinarily evil, and

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7     that this kind of irresponsible manipulation of the system is

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8     not merely a bloodless financial crime that takes place just on

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9     paper, but that it is instead, as we have heard, one that takes

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10  a staggering human toll. The symbolism is important because

1352

11  the message must be sent that in a society governed by the rule

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12  of law, Mr. Madoff will get what he deserves, and that he will

1354

13  be punished according to his moral culpability.

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14           Second, deterrence. Another important goal of

1356

15  punishment is deterrence, and the symbolism is important here

1357

16  because the strongest possible message must be sent to those

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17  who would engage in similar conduct that they will be caught

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18  and that they will be punished to the fullest extent of the

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19  law.

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20           Finally, the symbolism is also important for the

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21  victims. The victims include individuals from all walks of

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22  life. The victims include charities, both large and small, as

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23  well as academic institutions, pension funds, and other

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24  entities. Mr. Madoffs very personal betrayal struck at the

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25  rich and the not-so-rich, the elderly living on retirement

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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(212)805-0300

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96T8MAD2

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1     funds and social security, middle class folks trying to put

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2     their kids through college, and ordinary people who worked hard

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3     to save their money and who thought they were investing it

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4     safely, for themselves and their families.

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5              I received letters, and we have heard from, for

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6     example, a retired forest worker, a corrections officer, an

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7     auto mechanic, a physical therapist, a retired New York City

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8     school secretary, who is now 86 years old and widowed, who must

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9     deal with the loss of her retirement funds. Their money is

1379

10  gone, leaving only a sense of betrayal.

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11           I was particularly struck by one story that I read in

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12  the letters. A man invested his family's life savings with

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13  Mr. Madoff. Tragically, he died of a heart attack just two

1383

14  weeks later. The widow eventually went in to see Mr. Madoff.

1384

15  He put his arm around her, as she describes it, and in a kindly

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16  manner told her not to worry, the money is safe with me. And

1386

17  so not only did the widow leave the money with him, she

1387

18  eventually deposited more funds with him, her 401(k), her

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19  pension funds. Now, all the money is gone. She will have to

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20  sell her home, and she will not be able to keep her promise to

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21  help her granddaughter pay for college.

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22           A substantial sentence will not give the victims back

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23  their retirement funds or the moneys they saved to send their

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24  children or grandchildren to college. It will not give them

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25  back their financial security or the freedom from financial

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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(212)805-0300

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96T8MAD2

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1     worry. But more is at stake than money, as we have heard. The

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2     victims put their trust in Mr. Madoff. That trust was broken

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3     in a way that has left many -- victims as well as others -­4 doubting our financial institutions, our financial system, our

1401

5     government's ability to regulate and protect, and sadly, even

1402

6     themselves.

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7              I do not agree that the victims are succumbing to the

1404

8     temptation of mob vengeance. Rather, they are doing what they

1405

9     are supposed to be doing -- placing their trust in our system

1406

10  of justice. A substantial sentence, the knowledge that

1407

11  Mr. Madoff has been punished to the fullest extent of the law,

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12  may, in some small measure, help these victims in their healing

1409

13  process.

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14            Mr. Madoff, please stand.

1411

15            It is the judgment of this Court that the defendant,

1412

16  Bernard L. Madoff, shall be and hereby is sentenced to a term

1413

17  of imprisonment of 150 years, consisting of 20 years on each of

1414

18  Counts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10, 5 years on each of Counts 2, 8,

1415

19  9, and 11, and 10 years on Count 7, all to run consecutively to

1416

20  each other. As a technical matter, the sentence must be

1417

21  expressed on the judgment in months. 150 years is equivalent

1418

22  to 1,800 months.

1419

23            Although it is academic, for technical reasons, I must

1420

24  also impose supervised release. I impose a term of supervised

1421

25  release of 3 years on each count, all to run concurrently. The

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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(212)805-0300

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1     mandatory, standard, and special conditions are imposed, as set

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2     forth on pages 58 and 59 of the PSR.

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3              I will not impose a fine, as whatever assets

1428

4     Mr. Madoff has, as to whatever assets may be found, they shall

1429

5     be applied to restitution for the victims.

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6              As previously ordered, I will defer the issue of

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7     restitution for 90 days.

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8              Finally, I will impose the mandatory special

1433

9     assessment of $1,100, $100 for each count.

1434

10           Mr. Sorkin, any requests?

1435

11           MR. SORKIN: Yes, your Honor.

1436

12           As you pointed out to one of the victims, you cannot

1437

13  designate a prison, but we would ask, based upon an analysis

1438

14  that we have done that in 75 percent of the cases

1439

15  recommendations made by the court are followed by the Bureau of

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16  Prisons, we respectfully request that your Honor recommend to

1441

17  the Bureau of Prisons that Mr. Madoff be designated to

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18  Otisville.

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19           THE COURT: I will recommend to the Bureau of Prisons

1444

20  that Mr. Madoff be designated to an appropriate facility in the

1445

21  northeast region of the United States.

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22           MR. SORKIN: Thank you.

1447

23           THE COURT: Ms. Baroni?

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24           MS. BARONI: Two issues. If you can specifically

1449

25  incorporate by reference the forfeiture order of Friday,

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPORTERS, PC.

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(212)805-0300

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96T8MAD2

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1    pronounce it as part of the sentence.

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2             THE COURT: The forfeiture order is hereby

1455

3    incorporated.

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4            MS.   BARONI: Special assessment.

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5             THE DEFENDANT: I did the special assessment of

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6    $1,100.

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7            MS.   BARONI: Thank you.

1460

8             THE COURT: Mr. Madoff, please stand one more time.

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9             Mr. Madoff, you have the right to appeal at least

1462

10  certain aspects of this judgment and conviction. If you wish

1463

11  to appeal, you must do so within ten days. If            you cannot

1464

12  afford an attorney, the court will appoint one          for you.

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13           We are adjourned.

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14           (Adjourned)

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15

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Annotated Text Information

September 22, 2017

Sentencing Transcript in U.S. v. Madoff

Sentencing Transcript in U.S. v. Madoff

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Jeannie Suk

Harvard University

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