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In quotes: Madoff's 'evil' crimes

29 June 09 17:49 GMT

Bernard Madoff has been given the maximum sentence of 150 years for masterminding the biggest self-confessed fraud in US history.

The judge called the crime "staggering". Madoff's wife said she felt "betrayed".

Some of his victims told the court in emotional terms of the affect the $65bn (£40bn) crime had had on their lives.

BERNARD MADOFF

I will live with this pain, with this torment, for the rest of my life.

I live in a tormented state knowing the pain and suffering I have created."

I cannot offer you an excuse for my behavior. How do you excuse betraying thousands of investors who entrusted me with their life savings?"

RUTH MADOFF, WIFE

I am embarrassed and ashamed.

Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years

From the moment I learned from my husband that he had committed an enormous fraud, I have had two thoughts.

First, that so many people who trusted him would be ruined financially and emotionally, and second, that my life with the man I have known for over 50 years was over.

DISTRICT JUDGE DENNY CHIN

Here the message must be sent that Mr Madoff's crimes were extraordinarily evil.

This kind of manipulation of the system is not just a bloodless crime that takes place on paper, but one instead that takes a staggering toll.

I simply do not get the sense that Mr Madoff has done all that he could or told all that he knows.

ALEXANDRA PENNEY, INVESTOR

Obviously, I'm delighted that the judge showed no mercy.

This is a global. This has global tentacles and what I'm hoping is that those others that have been complicit with him are indicted and face sentencing.

DOMINIC AMBROSINO, INVESTOR

I can remember the exact second my wife told me the news.

The fall-out from having your entire life savings robbed from right under your nose is like nothing you can describe.

TOM FITZMAURICE, INVESTOR

He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in-between. He had no values.

His was a violent crime without the use of a tangible weapon.

My life will never be the same. I am financially ruined and will worry every day about how I will take care of my wife.

MIRIAM SIEGMAN, INVESTOR

The man sitting in this courtroom robbed me.

He discarded me like road-kill.

Forgiveness for now will have to come from someone other than me.

CARLA HIRSCHHORN, INVESTOR

Life has been a living hell.

It feels like the nightmare we can't wake from.

SHERYL WEINSTEIN, INVESTOR

I was introduced to Bernard Madoff 21 years ago at a business meeting.

I now view that day as perhaps the unluckiest day of my life.

This beast who I call Madoff. He walks among us. He dresses like us... but underneath the facade is a true beast.

He is an equal-opportunity destroyer.

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