Judge Delays Restitution Order in Madoff Case

Ponzi king scheduled for sentencing next week

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009  |  Updated 7:15 PM EDT
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Bernard Madoff & His Victims

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 The judge who will sentence financier Bernard Madoff next week says the sentencing will take place as scheduled but the complexity of the fraud means he cannot order restitution yet.

Federal Judge Denny Chin said in an order Wednesday that he must delay restitution because of the number of victims and problems caused by faulty record-keeping and the scope, complexity and length of the fraud.

Madoff is scheduled to be sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty March 12 to securities fraud, perjury and other charges.He has admitted to operating a Ponzi scheme for decades that cost thousands of investors billions of dollars.

The 71-year-old Madoff faces up to 150 years in prison.

On Tuesday, his lawyer, Ira Sorkin said he should only serve 12 years for his crimes.

In his submission, Sorkin cited dozens of letters from Madoff victims urging Chin to make sure Madoff never gets out of prison.

"The significant anger and resentment evidence in the victims' words is no doubt justified in light of the circumstances of this case," Sorkin said. "Thankfully, none of the fury expressed in the victim statements has been as shocking as the death threats and anti-Semitic e-mails that have been directed toward Mr. Madoff and his counsel."

Still, he added, the tone of the victim statements "suggests a desire for a type of mob vengeance that, if countenanced here, would negate and render meaningless the role of the court."

"We ... recognize that terrible losses have been suffered as a result of Mr. Madoff's conduct, and we have advised Mr. Madoff of their tenor and heart-wrenching stories of loss and deprivation," Sorkin wrote.

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