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May 2022


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Tag: Denny Chin

Fed Judge Explains Why He Gave Bernie Madoff 150 Years

Bernie Madoff

By Allan Lengel

A Manhattan federal  judge who sentenced swindler Bernie Madoff has told the New York Times that he weighed different factors before handing out a 150 year sentence.

Madoff’s lawyer  Ira Lee Sorkin had tried to convince U.S. District Judge Denny Chin,57, to give a far lesser sentence. He cited, according to the Times, Madoff’s move to tell his sons, knowing he’d be turned in. And he argued that Madoff, who was then 71, would live about 13 years. So he asked for 12 “just short of an effective life sentence.” The Times reported that Sorkin also proposed 15 to 20 years.

“It’s a fair argument that you want to give someone some possibility of seeing the light of day,” the judge told the Times, “so that they have some hope, and something to live for.”

He said he immediately rejected a 12 year sentence, but struggled with the idea of dishing out 20 to 25  years before ultimately concluding:

“In the end, I just thought he didn’t deserve it,” he told the Times. “The benefits of giving him hope were far outweighed by all of the other considerations.”

The Times also interviewed Madoff, who commented on the sentence.

“Explain to me who else has received a sentence like that,” Madoff said in a phone interview with the Times from prison in  North Carolina. “I mean, serial killers get a death sentence, but that’s virtually what he gave me.”

“I’m surprised Chin didn’t suggest stoning in the public square,” he added.


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!”