June 29, 2009 10:44 AM
Live Blogging the Madoff Sentencing: Pleading With the Judge
Posted by Brian Baxter
A fourth victim pleads with Judge Chin to "not fail us" and give Madoff the maximum sentence allowable--roughly 150 years in prison. She criticizes the IRS and SIPC for their callousness to Madoff victims and says that she cannot take out a loan to pay for her daughter's college education because she fears clawback litigation. She also requests that Madoff not be sent to a minimum security prison.
After she finishes her statement, Chin tells the court that it's not up to him where Madoff is sent to prison.
The fifth and sixth victims both have to compose themselves in the midst of their statements. The fifth, a blond-haired woman who says she used to be a model, tells the court of how she also lost everything to Madoff's scheme.
The sixth victim, Burt Ross, a former mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., lashes into Madoff for betraying fellow Jews. He specifially mentions Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, stopping to compose himself before saying, "as if Elie Wiesel hadn't suffered enough."
The seventh victim, 33-year-old Michael Schwartz, had his trust fund wiped out by Madoff's scheme. But Schwartz says that his trust fund wasn't to buy yachts to dock in the Hamptons, but to care for his mentally disabled brother. Schwartz says he's now lost his job and lives with his parents.
"Everytime [Madoff] cashed a check, he killed dreams," Schwartz says, wiping tears from his face. "Your Honor, Bernard Madoff's jail cell should become is coffin."
Live Blogging the Madoff Sentencing
We're In - 10:02 AM