Disgraced Madoff to be sentenced
Bernard Madoff to be handed hefty jail term for multibillion-dollar scam.
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2009 12:49 GMT
Prosecutors have demanded that Madoff spend the rest of life in prison [EPA]

Bernard Madoff, the disgraced Wall Street financier, could face a life-long jail term when he is sentenced on Monday for running a multibillion-dollar scam.

Federal prosecutors want Madoff to be sentenced to 150 years in prison for orchestrating what is considered the largest financial swindle in history.

Madoff's lawyer has said his client should serve only 12 years in prison.

Once a revered figure among financial markets, Madoff now inhabits a tiny prison cell after admitting to 11 charges of fraud, perjury and theft in March.

A former founder and non-executive chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange, Madoff's victims include Hollywood celebrities, some of the world's most famous banks and even charities, many of which were forced to close after his rogue investment scheme collapse suddenly.

Financial ruin

But many of his investors were also ordinary, elderly retired people who thought their life savings were in safe hands.

In depth

 Madoff awaits his fate
 Disgraced Madoff to forfeit $170bn
 US marshals seize Madoff property
 Madoff pleads guilty to $65bn fraud
 Video: Nader on Madoff
 What is a Ponzi scheme?

But many now face financial ruin.

Madoff told the court in March that the billions of dollars which passed through his hands during his 30-year scam was never invested in markets.

Instead, he stashed the funds in a Manhattan bank account.

The funds were then used to pay out "dividends" to investors in what is known as a "Ponzi scheme".

Prosecutors say about $13bn was handed to Madoff.

The financier has referred to losing about $50bn, believed to be the amount that would have been paid out had the funds been properly invested.

The sums were bigger than the gross domestic product of countries such as Luxembourg and more than the external debt of several African nations.

Forfeit order

Madoff's sentencing comes after a judge last week issued a preliminary $170bn  forfeiture order stripping him of all his personal property.

The Madoff scandal also affected financial institutions around the world [EPA]
The order forces Madoff to forfeit assets including a $7m apartment in Manhattan, an $11m house in Palm Beach, Florida and a $3m home located in New York's borough of Long Island.

The government also settled claims against Ruth Madoff, the financier's wife, who must also forfeit her interests totalling $80m in property which she had claimed were hers, prosecutors said.

Aside from an accountant accused of involvement in Madoff's scam, no one else
has been criminally charged.

But Madoff's family, including his wife, and brokerage firms who recruited investors, have come under intense scrutiny by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), regulators and a court-appointed trustee overseeing the liquidation of his assets.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.
Chinese authorities scramble to cut off information on Hong Kong protests from reaching the mainland.