Peter Madoff, brother of Ponzi evil-doer Bernard Madoff, will soon be bunking in the same kind of quarters his brother is. Madoff pleaded guilty to helping keep his brother’s multibillion dollar fraud moving forward. His sentence comes three years to the day after the senior Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
Madoff had denied knowing anything about his brother’s illegal activities. His role in Bernard Madoff’s company was that of compliance officer and today, he maintained his innocence yet again, saying,
I was in shock and my world was destroyed… I always looked up and admired him.
His brother is responsible for directing the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history.
Many may recall what Bernard Madoff’s firm statements revealed. At the time of his arrest, it was discovered he had almost 5,000 accounts with $65 billion in nonexistent balances. Investors were thought to have lost $20 billion in principal; however, since then, the firm’s trustee said the figure is closer to $17 billion. Madoff began working for his brother’s firm after graduating law school from Fordham University. He had worked briefly for a large New York firm before partnering with his brother.
Part of the deal with prosecutors includes a clause where he agreed to not ask U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain for anything less than a 10-year term.
A spokesperson for the FBI said following sentencing,
The Madoff investment empire, built on a foundation of deceit, was a house of cards that grew to skyscraper proportions.
Just as his brother was sued, Peter Madoff now has lawsuits pending from the SEC and individual investors. He agreed to forfeit more than $143 billion, including all real and personal property.
Madoff prepared a statement that read in front of the court. It read in part,
I am deeply ashamed of my actions. I want to apologize to anyone who was harmed and to my family. And I’m here today to take responsibility.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that Peter Madoff “enabled the largest fraud in human history. He will now be jailed well into old age, and he will forfeit virtually every penny he has.” He then went on to reiterate to the public that the investigation continues.
Who Knew What
This sentencing could call into question Bernie Madoff’s own statement to his judge where he said his brother had no knowledge of any criminal activity. “Bernie Madoff claiming that he acted alone was ridiculous,” said Anthony Barkow, a former federal prosecutor in New York,
His surrender was clearly a strategy to try to insulate his family and co- conspirators and made it more difficult for the government to make the case, so it’s taken time but they’ve shown that they’re clearly working on it.
Law enforcement agencies continue to look for Bernie Madoff’s assets too. The 74 year old criminal resides in a North Carolina federal prison. He will likely never see another day of freedom. Thousands of his investors lost everything – including pensions, retirements and even their homes. All the while, Peter worked alongside his older brother.
It’s been suggested that Bernie Madoff’s sons were in on the crime; however, it was his sons who turned him in and blew the lid off the massive scheme. Sadly, one of his sons committed suicide two years ago in New York.