Madoff: 150 Years Doesn't Seem Like Enough

Last Updated Jun 29, 2009 12:10 PM EDT

It's official: Bernard Madoff got the maximum sentence of 150 years in prison for operating the largest Ponzi scheme in US history. This is likely small satisfaction for individuals and charities that were bilked out of $65 billion dollars, but at least the lengthy sentence guarantees that Madoff will not be spending the last years of his life in a "Club Fed". His new neighbors are likely to be dangerous criminals, just like him.

There's simply no punishment draconian enough for this sociopath, but now it's time for prosecutors to get busy and determine whether other Madoff employees and officers of the firm were in on the scam. It was noteworthy that at the sentencing, the evil-doer himself didn't ask for forgiveness, but did say that he deceived his brothers, his two sons and his wife. Convenient, huh?

It has always seemed impossible that Madoff could have done this alone. Didn't anyone at the broker-dealer notice that that there were no trades going through? Could the compliance officer have "missed" so many red flags? Did anyone consider the absurdity that Madoff never showed one single month of losses?

Innocent until proven guilty, but I'd like to see the government's case but a big bulls eye on the back of the following targets: Madoff's wife, sons, brother, niece other close business associates and of course, those feeder funds execs who were paid handsomely for participating.

Even 150 years doesn't seem enough for this crime.

Image by Flickr User Leeroy09481, CC 2.009481
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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch. She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch in 2009, Jill was the chief investment officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.



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