Mad­off’s brother gets 10-year prison term

Peter Mad­off says he’s ‘deeply ashamed’ for role in $17.3 bil­lion scheme. Pros­e­cu­tors said that if Peter Mad­off had done his job, reg­u­la­tors would likely have de­tected the fraud years ear­lier.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS -

NEW YORK — Peter Mad­off was sen­tenced Thurs­day to 10 years in prison for crimes that helped his brother, Bernard Mad­off, swin­dle in­vestors out of bil­lions of dol­lars in a Ponzi scheme that col­lapsed four years ago this month.

A lawyer by train­ing, Peter Mad­off is the sec­ond fig­ure in the scan­dal to be sen­tenced.

His older brother, Bernard, pleaded guilty in March 2009 and is serv­ing a prison term of 150 years.

Mad­off, in a slate blue suit and striped blue tie, en­tered the crowded court­room ac­com­pa­nied only by his lawyers, although many mem­bers of his fam­ily and friends had writ­ten let­ters of sup­port for him.

The 63 char­ac­ter ref­er­ences stood in stark con­trast to his brother’s sen­tenc­ing, when the judge in that case noted that he had not re­ceived a sin­gle sup­port­ive let­ter.

Still, a hand­ful of vic­tims at­tended the hear­ing, in­clud­ing two who spoke emo­tion­ally about the fi­nan­cial and psy­cho­log­i­cal hard­ships they are en­dur­ing and urged the judge to im­pose a life sen­tence.

In his own brief state­ment to the judge, Peter Mad­off said he was “deeply ashamed” of his con­duct and had “tried to atone by plead­ing guilty.”

He added: “I am pro­foundly sorry that my fail­ures have let so many peo­ple down, in­clud­ing my own loved ones and fam­ily.”

In June, Peter Mad­off, 67, ad­mit­ted to a range of crimes, in­clud­ing fal­si­fy­ing doc­u­ments, ly­ing to se­cu­ri­ties reg­u­la­tors, and fil­ing sham tax re­turns.

Pros­e­cu­tors said that if Peter Mad­off had prop­erly done his job as chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer at Bernard Mad­off In­vest­ment Se­cu­ri­ties, reg­u­la­tors would likely have de­tected the fraud years ear­lier.

Peter Mad­off, was not charged with know­ing about the Ponzi scheme, and in­sists that he first learned about it only 36 hours be­fore his brother’s ar­rest.

Dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing in Fed­eral District Court in Man­hat­tan, Judge Laura Tay­lor Swain ex­pressed skep­ti­cism about that as­ser­tion.

“Peter Mad­off’s con­tention that he did not know that any­thing was wrong with the in­vest­ment ad­vi­sory busi­ness is be­neath the dig­nity” of a so­phis­ti­cated Wall Street ex­ec­u­tive, Swain said.

“It is also, frankly, not be­liev­able,” she added.

As part of a plea deal, Peter Mad­off had agreed to a prison term of at least 10 years and a for­fei­ture of $143 bil­lion.

The penalty, which he could not pos­si­bly pay, is tied to the amount of the crime’s pro­ceeds — and a clear sig­nal that the government will seize all of his as­sets and dis­trib­ute them to vic­tims.

Mad­off’s cus­tomers lost about $17.3 bil­lion in the fraud, ac­cord­ing to the Mad­off bank­ruptcy trustee.

About $9.3 bil­lion has been re­cov­ered, and of that, roughly $3.7 bil­lion has been dis­trib­uted.

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