Hundreds Expected At Madoff Sentencing

Last updated 3:50 p.m. ET.

The Manhattan federal courtroom in New York where Bernard Madoff will receive his sentence Monday will be overflowing with the disgraced financier's victims.

Several people among the estimated thousands who were swindled by Madoff have asked to speak before the judge pronounces the convicted swindler's sentence.

Madoff pleaded guilty in March to charges that his exclusive investment advisory business was actually a massive Ponzi scheme. Federal prosecutors say Madoff orchestrated perhaps the largest financial swindle in history.

Hundreds are expected to attend Monday. The courtroom seats about 300; hundreds more will be able to watch the proceedings on television downstairs.

Prosecutors are seeking to put Madoff away in prison for the rest of his life, calling for a 150-year prison sentence. The defense has asked for a 12-year term because of Madoff's age.

Madoff will have an opportunity to speak in court (called allocution), but CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen says it is highly unlikely that anything he says will have an impact upon what the judge decides to give him as a sentence.

"There is no way the judge is going to sentence Madoff to 150 years in prison," said Cohen, "but it's equally unlikely he'll get the 12 years his lawyers say he deserved. I expect a lengthy sentence, at least a couple of decades long, which will amount to a practical life sentence for the 71 year old."

"I just hope that the punishment fits the crime, and the punishment should be nothing less than life in prison with no chance of parole," victim Richard Friedman told CBS Station WCBS.

"I think that he's going to get the maximum sentence and he will for sure spend the rest of his days on this planet in a jail cell," Ilene Kent of the Madoff Survivors Group told WCBS.

"If the courtroom is as crowded with victims as many people predict, it's going to be very important and very difficult for the judge and court personnel to maintain decorum," said Cohen. "You can't have a circus at sentencing, whether it's for a swindler or a murderer."

But anger and revenge may not sate the very real wounds that the financier inflicted upon his victims. "I don't care," another victim, Lawrence Cohen, told WCBS. "We don't care what happens to Madoff. We'd just like to get our money back,"

Towards that end, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin entered a preliminary order Friday, ruling that Madoff must give up his interests in all property, including real estate, investments, cars and boats, amounting to $171 billion.

The forfeiture represents the total amount that could be connected to Madoff's fraud, not the amount stolen or lost, and the order made clear that nothing prevents other departments or entities from seeking to recover additional funds.

In a court filing in March, Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin said the government's forfeiture demand of $177 billion was "grossly overstated - and misleading - even for a case of this magnitude."

"When you think of that $171 billion forfeiture figure, remember that Madoff doesn't necessarily have that money, and the government won't necessarily be getting it," said Cohen. "It's just a figure based upon what the feds feel are the damages here. Collecting all of it is just wishful thinking."