March 12th, 2009
03:15 PM ET

What should happen to Bernie Madoff?

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”

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Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Bernie Madoff admitted Thursday to stealing $65 billion investor dollars. It looks as though there were more than 4000 victims – and we’re not just talking about the rich and famous. There are lots of regular folks who have lost everything.

One guy I know, a lawyer here in New York, had three-quarters of his net worth tied up with Madoff. There’s a South African fellow who came to this country with nothing, worked hard and, over the years, gave a million dollars to Madoff to invest. He’s lost his life savings. There’s a Boston woman who worked for a charitable foundation. It had all of its assets “managed” by Madoff. Now, her job, her entire retirement account and the foundation itself have – poof – evaporated.


Filed under: Finance • In Session • Jami Floyd
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Rokom

    I think his wife ought to be next.. Somebody fell short. Your husband doesn't bring home 150 million without an explaination. She is just as guilty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 13, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  2. Eduardo

    As part of his sentence, he should be forced to watch daily videos of people's comments about what he did to them.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    I agree that Madoff should spend the rest of his life in prison. But what about the SEC who should have caught this earlier – especially with all the tips they received? There ought to be some punishment meted out to them too. They were asleep on the job at the very least. If they had done their job like they were suppose to, this fraud would have been uncovered sooner, less money lost, and fewer people hurt. There is definitely more than Madoff here that needs to be punished.

    March 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  4. Jim

    Take all of his families assests & repay the people he screwed, let his famly be put in the same position he put others.

    March 12, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  5. Maddoffed

    Don't you think he's same as terrorist???!!!???!!!

    March 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  6. Teresa

    @Kat and Dan: I love your ideas best!!!

    In the beginning there was alot written about Madoff having a lot of Jewish clientele and that he too was Jewish. I wonder what the Jewish faith would say to be the "proper" punishment. Anyone?

    March 12, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  7. Timothy Gibson

    I think Bernie is more than qualified for a postion in the treasury along with Tim Boy. Who is to say that his "empire" is to big to fall, that to much is at stake for him not to be a part of the new cabinet with his skill and talent.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  8. Kat

    I agree with Dan . Why should we pay to house him and feed him.
    Put him in a public arena and let those affected by him do what they want with him.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  9. Koral Mae from Shelton, WA

    Nothing LESS than life in federal prison is appropriate! Why are people EVEN talking about his age?!? The law doesn't say you can engage in illegal activity once you reach a certain age.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  10. Alisa Tafoya

    Madoff should not only have to live a rotten life in prison, but his family and all those involved should be stripped of all their worldly possessions, since it was other people's money they used to purchase these items and have to work hard physical labor for the rest of their lives & live in a cardboard box. Only then might they realize what a sleaze-bag thing they did to others.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  11. Elizabeth

    I think Madoff should be put in solitary confinement with nothing in his cell but his bed and toilet. He should not be allowed any outside influences. No books, newspapers, paper, pen, radio...nothing. This would force him to think about what he has done 24/7 and live devoid of everything which is how he has left many of his victims.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  12. Fred Goldsmith

    Madoff was waiting for the other to drop. His arrogance tells me he actually thought he might have never been caught. He knew he was doing something wrong but he continued to do it. I wonder what we will see when the investigation and his associates are complete.

    He lived the high life for a very long time, As a result of his actions he should now live a life of squalor and humiliation. Prison is too good for this man.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  13. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    How different is Madoff than the majority of financial advisors of retirement plans?

    When we trust major financial institutions and they results are a 55% loss of years of savings, how different are these "respected experts" ?

    Has the entire Wall Street book of brokers differ, other than perhaps intent, in fleecing of the American investor?

    They should all be jailed.

    March 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  14. Patrick

    What Madoff knowingly did and his intentions were absolutely deplorable and he should rot in jail. I hope everything he has will be taken from his family. But I find it difficult to feel sorry for those who had so much, and out of greed, trusted someone to get them more. These people really have no one to blame but themselves for taking uncalculated risks and that is the name of the game…RISK! You lost. Welcome to reality. I feel more for those who have worked and labored for their earnings, living modest lives, not trying to get ahead by investing out of greed. Pure and simple people, it was greed.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  15. Pri

    I do not think he should go to jail nor rot. Why? Jail= our money used on him again! Solitary confinement or rotting in jail is just not fair. That is a mere slap on the hand as punishment. He put in one room and does not have to worry about thing!! He needs something harsh to finally feel the pain and agony caused to other by his scheme. Clean up the streets or work at minimum wage and have all the earnings to back to a special fund to repay those he stole from. Maybe.... naa! I don't want to post. 😛

    March 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  16. Saad, NJ

    Madoff has killed so many parent dreams, so many grandparent dreams, he has dented the future of so any children…. he is equally as terrible as Osama Bin Laden or other ignorant individuals who take innocent lives.

    I am not a supporter of death penalty but the likes of above need to be sent to the life hereafter – whatever that is.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  17. Mari, Salt Lake City

    Madoff should be placed in jail with the rest of the criminals!

    No special "jail" ...... no special treatment.

    Madoff is evil, he is everything that is wrong with Wall Street: GREED.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  18. Suzanne

    Plain and simple...prison. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a nice tent for him here in Phoenix AZ. Luxury living for criminals!


    March 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  19. Arthur

    He should be tried for Treason and Economic Terrorism, have his citizenship revoked, confined in Gitmo and waterboarded until he reveals the names of his co-conspiritors and his Swiss Bank account numbers. Then he should be lined up against a wall and shot.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  20. GBIRCH

    This whole Madoff situation is absolutely crazy. The fact that he has been allowed to stay in his apartment till today is irresponsibility to the highest degree. I think e should go to jail for 15-20. The fact that he stole from charities alone should get him convicted. Taking money from people who cant help themselves is wrong.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  21. karen powell

    He should receive an appropriate sentence from the presiding judge, and be forced to liquidate his asests, and any other assets he may have transferred to anyone else, including his wife, by fraudulent preference or otherwise, and be forced to make proportional restitution to all those who were swindled.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  22. HHoward

    He should go to federal prison for life. All his assets that he has purchased within the last 10 years should be confiscated and sold. Proceeds of the sale should go to the victims. I don't care if he gave all his money...correction all the stolen money, to his wife and kids...it is not their money. His family should feel what its like to loose everything.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  23. Dan

    Madoff, and quite a few from the Bush era should punished in the finest tradition of our culture. They should be tied up in the town square and let people fling things at them. You could have these 'town square meetings' all over the country over a period of whatever sentence is imposed.......say 20 years or so.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  24. Julia

    He needs to rot in jail. He could not have done this by himself and he needs to fess up as well as to who helped him out.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  25. Thelma

    He should rot in jail!!!!

    March 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  26. Lulu

    He should and is going to do jail time, but in addition he should be ordered to give back all the money he has taken even if its in his name or someone else's. It is the same thing they do to drug dealers who have aqquired things over the years and when they get arrested they impound everything that had anything to do with him. Law is law. There should not be white or blue collar crimes... its all crime and they need to pay!

    March 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  27. Jo Ann Schloe

    Madoff should go to jail just like what he is doing. Everything owned by his wife or others involved should all be sold and the proceeds should be given to those that he scammed. The whole mess of them should live the rest of their lives without, just like I am through all of this. I had it all and now it's gone. The only difference is, I never cheated anyone but I too did get cheated.

    March 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  28. Lee Rosa

    I think the US Marshalls Office should put Madoff in Giants Stadium, sell tickets, and sell pay-per view to the “game”.

    I am almost thinking “Roman Empire Games”.

    The public can choose the “game” … however all proceeds of the concessions, tickets, pay-per-view sales should go right back to those who where victims.

    Our society has proven to love violence | we should embrace it and PROFIT from it.

    Hopefully this struck a nerve and opened dialog from both sides, of this topic

    March 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  29. Judy Byrd

    I cannot image Bernie Madoff getting anything but a cold, hard Cell for the rest of his life. How can a person destroy so many lives and look himself in the mirror.

    I just hope that he is put in the general population at prison and someone has a nice, sharp SHANK!!!

    March 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  30. Michelle

    There is no way Madoff pulled this off alone.
    His comments in court tells me dude has some
    really serious issues.

    March 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  31. Brian Drury

    He should be treated like every other white collar criminal to the full extent of the law, but at the very, very least, someone should throw their shoes at him.

    March 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  32. Michael Gaedeke

    Guantanamo! alongside all others responsible for the financial and other meltdowns we know/or will find out about soon...

    March 12, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  33. MZZ_ELITE215

    He looks good behind bar. He hurt alot of people. All i can say good bye!!!!!

    March 12, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  34. Kevn D

    He should be given a hook, a fishing line, a knife and a parka, and dropped off in the middle of the North West Territories. It's more remote than Alaska, and we can pay the Inuit to guard him. Give him an area of a hundred square kilometres, and if he moves beyond that, the Inuit can skin him and make a kayak out of him. If he stays within it, he's free to live as long as his fishing and polar bear avoiding skills will let him.

    March 12, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  35. Monique

    Bernie Madoff should rot in jail and all those associated with his business should be charged...sons included.

    March 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  36. Teresa

    re: ..." I tend to see something redeeming in every client..." That is very kind of you Jami. I am in awe that you said that. I used to think that way, no more though.

    Let's hope Bernie's redemption doesn't extend to teaching the other prisoners math or accounting for when they get out.

    While Bernie is relaxing in his cell, I think it would be nice of him to write a biography of his rise and fall. Write a tell all book -an educational tool- to show us all how he did it. Give us some tips on what to look for in a financial advisor and what red flags we should look for.

    And of course the proceeds should go directly to the victims. ( If anyone can afford to buy a book by then....)

    March 12, 2009 at 3:41 pm |