By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler
Bernard Madoff is expected to plead guilty to illegally amassing over $64 billion dollars in court tomorrow.
Here’s the AP‘s account of Tuesday’s courtroom scene:
Madoff, who wears a bulletproof vest, arrived at court more than three hours before the hearing as authorities tried to diminish the chance he would face a confrontation with investors. Several lawyers for investors showed up as spectators, but the courtroom was largely packed with members of the media.
Asked by the judge if Madoff would plead guilty Thursday, [Madoff’s lawyer Ira] Sorkin said: “I think that’s a fair expectation.” [U.S. District Judge Denny] Chin asked Sorkin if Madoff would plead guilty to all 11 counts.
“Yes your honor,” Sorkin answered.
There was never any real doubt that Madoff would get away with the Ponzi scheme he had orchestrated, but what is suprising about the guilty plea is that Madoff is prepared to enter the plea without a plea deal.
That means Madoff could be subjected to the maximum sentence for his case, a whopping 150 years.
Not that even 200 years would satisfy the investors who lost fortunes because of Madoff’s misconduct. A group of them, the “MadoffSurvivors,” wrote to Judge Chin this week, asking to postpone Madoff’s sentencing until a more thorough account of his finances has been completed.