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September 2021


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Tag: Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff Hanging Out With Mobster and Spy Jonathan Pollard in Prison

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel

No question Bernie Madoff crossed paths with some interesting folks with some interesting stories while schmoozing and gallivanting about in Palm Beach and Manhattan and places afar.

Still, they may not be as interesting as the folks he’s keeping company with these days in federal prison in North Carolina.

The Associated Press reports that the 71-year-old Ponzi schemer is socializing with folks like spy Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of selling government secrets to Israel, and mobster Carmine Persico, the reputed family boss of the Colombo family.

He also lives on the bottom bunk, shares a cell with a convicted drug offender and eats pizza cooked by a child molester, the Associated Press reported, citing a legal complaint filed Tuesday by Calif. attorney Joseph Cotchett, who represents about a dozen clients who were ripped off by Madoff.

AP reports that Cotchett interviewed Madoff in July at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.


U.S. Marshal Worker’s Job is to Sell Homes like Bernie Madoff’s

She doesn’t hunt fugitives. But she does hunt for buyers. She’s not typical of the people who work for the U.S. Marshals Service.

Madoff's Palm Beach home/pool photo

Madoff's Palm Beach home/pool photo

By Justin Blum
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Sally Schowalter pauses at the dark wood door to Bernard Madoff’s former home in Palm Beach, Florida, her eyes fixed on a U.S. Marshals Service sticker on the window warning against trespassing.

“It’s intimidating,” she tells her colleagues. “Can we take it off?”

Schowalter works for the Marshals Service, though she doesn’t carry a badge or a gun. Her job entails getting the best price for confiscated real estate such as the Florida house, appraised this year for $7.67 million by Palm Beach County. With the Madoff house, the hazards for those who work with Schowalter can be unusual — including flying dog poop hurled by a disgruntled passerby.

For Full Story

Scathing Report Says SEC Repeatedly Failed to Catch Madoff Scam


It was painful enough seeing all the victims Bernie Madoff scammed. But it makes it all the more painful to be reminded of how incompetent the SEC was, and how this could have been exposed long ago.

New York Times
WASHINGTON – Unseasoned investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission were alternately intimidated and enthralled by a name-dropping, yarn-spinning Bernard L. Madoff as he dodged questions about his financial house of cards, according to a scathing new report on the agency’s repeated failure to uncover the huge investment fraud.

“Madoff carefully controlled to whom they spoke at the firm,” the S.E.C.’s independent watchdog said in the report released on Wednesday.

For Full Story

255 Years and Counting

mpdbadgeBy Rachel Leven

Apparently a life sentence is not enough anymore. Bernie Madoff’s 150-year sentence earlier this week seemed unthinkable- that is until Arthur Sease IV’s came along.

The former Memphis Police Department officer was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Memphis to life in prison plus 255 years for robbing drug dealers and reselling their cocaine and marijuana between November 2003 and April 2006, according to authorities. He was found guilty in February 2009.

The trend of exorbitant sentences of late has caught the interest of more than just judges.

“The issue is not in the number of years, it’s in the message,” said Lawrence Kobilinsky, a professor and chairman of Criminology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “You’ve got the public trust…I think being a police officer is different.”

Sease’s 44 counts of civil rights, narcotics, robbery and firearms offenses led to one of the most extreme sentences for civil rights and other violations that did not involve any deaths.

“We will aggressively pursue and convict those officers and agents who violate the law and the public’s trust,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence J. Laurenzi in a prepared statement. “We have entrusted law enforcement officers with our safety and protection and we demand that they perform their duties honestly and truthfully.”

Prosecutors said that even though Sease was fired in 2005, he directed others to continue with the robberies and drug deals through 2006, according to the Associated Press.

Five other individuals — three of them former Memphis police officers — have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced in this case, though none received sentences anywhere near as harsh as Sease’s.

Bernie Madoff’s 150 Year Sentence Raises Some Interesting Questions

By Allan Lengel
Former U.S. Atty. Roscoe Howard Jr.
Former U.S. Atty. Roscoe Howard Jr.
WASHINGTON – Swindler Bernie Madoff was trapped like rat. He really had no choice but to plead guilty. A conviction at trial was a foregone conclusion.

So here’s the two questions I have: Should U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, who gave Madoff a whopping 150-year sentence on Monday, have gone a little easier and taken into account that Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty instead of going to trial? And will this make some defendants think twice about pleading when they think they might get screwed in sentencing like Madoff?

A couple former federal prosecutors here in Washington answered those questions this way: No and No.

“This is clearly not a typical case,” says Stevan E. Bunnell, former chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington. He said he doesn’t see it impacting other pleas.

“You have to throw out the conventional wisdom,” said Bunnell of the law firm O’Melveny & Myers. “It’s such a high profile case. It’s kind of in its own universe.”

Roscoe Howard Jr., a former U.S. Attorney in Washington, who is now with the firm Troutman Sanders, concurs and says: “It’s hard to take Bernie Madoff and put him in any category. He’s going to be a name equivalent to Ponzi and Enron, people you can use one name to describe a whole genre of transgressions.”

“I think the 150 years is really an acknowledgment of what these folks have gone through. I think the judge was going to give him a sentence that amounted to a death sentence. He will die in jail. When you’re 71 years old, anything over 10 years, that’s essentially what you’re doing to him.”

And Howard adds that he doesn’t foresee any defendants saying: “I know what you did to Bernie Madoff, so I’m not going to plead guilty.”

Adios Bernie: Judge Gives Madoff 150 Years, Says “Sorry Is Not Enough”

Well, 150 years is a lot, but quite appropriate. There’s no way to make up for the damage he did.

By Thomas Zambito, Jose Martinez and Corky Siemaszko
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — Ponzi king Bernie Madoff got the max Monday – 150 years in prison – for engineering a $65 billion fraud scheme that made his name synonymous with unbridled greed.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Denny Chin threw the book at Bernie after Madoff finally apologized and told the court, “I’m sorry is not enough” after the swindler was savaged by the victims of his scheme.

“I have left a legacy of shame,” Madoff said after a dozen of his dupes begged a judge to let him rot in jail. “This is something I will live in for the rest of my life.”

Madoff also defended his wife Ruth, who while not charged with a crime has become a reviled figure in the tragedy.

For Full Story

Victims Speak Out

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Feds Says it Could Take Several Years to Locate, Liquidate and Distribute Madoff’s Assets

By Allan Lengel

It’s likely to take several years before the government and the trustee
Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff

locate, liquidate and distribute swindler Bernie Madoff’s assets, according to a U.S. Attorney motion filed  Friday morning.

“Given the size and scope of the defendant’s fraud, the efforts of the Government and the SIPA (Security Investment Protection Act) Trustee to recover assets, liquidate them if necessary, and distribute them to victims, are expected to continue for several years,” according to U.S. Attorney motion filed Friday morning.

The motion, filed by assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa A. Baroni and Marc Litt, asked that the judge go forward with the June 29 sentencing and requested 90 more days to “determine whether restitution by Court-ordered schedule is practicable, and if so, the contents of such schedule.”

“While the government and SIPA Trustee have sought to identify as many victims as possible as well as precise loss, we will not have identified each victim of the Madoff fraud or ascertained the precise losses of each identified victim as” of the June 29 sentencing date, the govenrment wrote.

Read Government’s Motion on Assets

Bernie Madoff Gets to Be Sentenced in Style


By Allan Lengel

The bad news for swindler Bernie Madoff is that’s he’s going off to federal prison for a long time.

The Good News: He gets to wear his own clothes at sentencing on Monday instead of his nifty prison outfit.

In a one-sentence order filed in U.S. District Court in New York on Wednesday, Judge Denny Chin wrote:

“That defendant Bernard L. Madoff (inmate #61727-054) is permitted to receive clothing at the Metropolitan Correction Center, 150 Park Row, New York, N.Y., to be worn by the Defendant at sentencing on Monday June 29, 2009.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan on Wednesday filed more than 200 pages in court that included angry letters and emails from investors.

Here’s an excerpt from one: “I am not sure what my entitlement is as far as speaking before the court,” wrote Rick Ashenfarb. “My wife and I lost 1 million dollars to this snake. It was all the money we had and now, we find ourselves in a dire financial position, especially because of the overall economy.

“As far as Madoff and his family, I can’t believe that one cent of his wife’s money did not come from this heinous crime. Therefore, his entire family should live under the same conditions as us, penniless!”