Madoff Pleads Guilty in Multi-Billion Dollar Scheme

March 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
In New York City Thursday, Bernard Madoff made it official. He admitted to being the biggest swindler on record, pleading guilty to multiple charges that he cheated investors out of billions of dollars. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download: Madoff Prepared Plea Allocution Statement (PDF)
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Bernard Madoff left his Manhattan apartment perhaps for the final time. Based on the judge's decision today, the 70-year-old trader will await his sentence from jail.

"I just want Mr Madoff to see some faces of the people whose lives he destroyed," said victim Cynthia Freedman.

They also had some choice words for him.

"Madoff sitting in jail that's awesome," said victim Debra Schwartz, "I really would like to see him with nothing left."

He is charged with Securities fraud, money laundering, and perjury. In all, Madoff was charged with 11 felony counts a list that could add up to a 150-year prison sentence; he told the judge he was deeply sorry and ashamed.

According to court documents, at the end of November, Madoff had 4,800 client accounts containing nearly $65-billion dollars. Most of that money is gone.

His victims showed today up to see him pay for it. "I'm here for the same reason Debra is here... See Bernie Madoff go to jail," said victim Bennet Goldworth.

Madoff's fate won't be certain until his sentencing months from now enough time to allow all his victims time to be heard.

The judge granted their first request by remanding Madoff to jail. Investigators have seized a billion dollars and identified more than 10 billion dollars in offshore banks. But the case is far from closed. More than a dozen employees at Madoff's investment firm are possible targets.

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