Bernie Madoff is asking that Trump reduce his life prison sentence. Of course he is.
According to an application filed with the Justice Department, Madoff, who pleaded guilty to 11 crimes in 2009, is not asking for a pardon from the president –he’s requesting clemency from Trump in the form of a sentence commutation, or reduction.
Back in 2009, Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies, including securities fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud, in an epic, multi-decade scam that saw him swindle thousands of clients out of almost $65 billion. At 81, he’s pretty much guaranteed to die in prison for running the largest Ponzi scheme of all time.
Marc Litt, the lead prosecutor in the criminal case against Madoff, told CNBC Wednesday,
“Bernard Madoff received a fair and just sentence—one that both appropriately punished him for decades of criminal conduct that caused devastating damage to tens of thousands of victims, and sent a loud and clear message to deter would-be fraudsters. Madoff’s current request is the very definition of chutzpah.”
Matthew Schwartz, who also helped prosecute Madoff, told Bloomberg,
“It is hard to imagine a less sympathetic nonviolent offender than Bernard Madoff. His tens of thousands of victims still continue to feel the profound and devastating harm from his decades-long fraud to this day.”
After hearing the news, former federal prosecutor Randall Jackson, said,
“That’s hilarious. I’m actually speechless.”
Madoff has previously suggested that his sentence is unfair, in part, because of the many years he was in business before becoming a criminal. He said during an April 2017 deposition,
“The biggest mistake I made was not going to trial. I would have called in any number of expert witnesses [to prove I was once a savvy trader].”
Maybe Trump will be joining you soon, Bernie. In addition to #RotInHell, I think this is an appropriate hashtag…
(Photo, screen grab; via Vanity Fair)