Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 09:44 UK

Madoff asks for 12 years in jail

bernie madoff
Madoff is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison

Disgraced US financier Bernard Madoff's lawyer has said his client deserves 12 years in prison for his crimes.

In March, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 charges that he masterminded a $50bn (£35bn) investment fraud.

He will be sentenced on 29 June and could be jailed for up to 150 years. Madoff is 71 years old now.

New York District Judge Denny Chin has received more than 100 letters from angry victims of Madoff's fraud, with some calling him a "monster".


Madoff's lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, urged Judge Chin to "set aside the emotion and hysteria" that surrounds the case.

"We seek neither mercy nor sympathy," Mr Sorkin wrote in court papers.

A fraudulent investment scheme paying investors from money paid in by other investors rather than real profits
Named after Charles Ponzi who notoriously used the technique in the United States in the 1920s
Differs from pyramid selling in that individuals all tend to invest with the same person

But victims of Madoff - who admitted operating a massive Ponzi scheme for decades - were unmoved by the plea.

"If he was hung by his toes for 12 years then maybe that sentence would be acceptable," said Candace Newlove of Colorado, who said her family was ruined by Madoff.

Judge Chin received 113 letters and e-mails from people who had lost money in the Madoff scandal.

Many urged him to sentence Madoff to the maximum 150 years in prison.

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