March 12th, 2009
07:49 PM ET

Evening buzz: Bernard Madoff is finally behind bars

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/03/03/madoff.attorney/art.madoff.gi.jpg]
Cate Vojdik
AC360 Writer

Bernard Madoff is in jail tonight. It may be small consolation for the thousands of people he defrauded, but it is something. The tiny cell he’s confined to is a far cry from his $7 million penthouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Madoff pleaded guilty today in front of a packed courtroom in New York. He also recounted details of his massive Ponzi scheme, including how and when it started. Madoff told the court he knew what he did was wrong, saying: "I realized that my arrest and this day would inevitably come."

The 70-year-old former Nasdaq chairman will be sentenced in June and could face up to 150 years in prison. So far, authorities have located only about $1 billion for Madoff’s investors, some of whom lost their life savings

Three of Madoff’s victims were allowed to speak today in court; Madoff did not look at any of them.

After the hearing was over, Burt Ross, a lawyer from Englewood, N.J., who lost $5 million in Madoff's swindle, told the Associated Press: "It's a little bit like seeing the devil."

Tonight on 360 we’ll have several reports on the Madoff story, including all the details inside the courtroom.

Also tonight, a truly chilling 360 Dispatch. Ed Lavendera reports on American teenagers working as hit men for Mexican drug cartels. Some are as young as 13 when they do their first hit. The cartels recruit these teens just across the U.S. border with Mexico, where cantinas and clubs are a draw for young Americans. In Ed’s report, you’ll meet two teens now serving long prison terms. Prosecutors say worked they for the Zetas, a group of former Mexican special military forces that do the dirty work for the notorious Gulf Cartel. One of the teens told investigators the Zetas are moving their operations deeper into the U.S.

Join us at 10 p.m. eastern for these reports and more.

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • Crime & Punishment • The Buzz
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Jafoe

    It is truly sad that a man his age has done this to so many people who thought what he exhibited was legitimate. I often tell people that you never know what to expect from people. But, through this terrible thing we will all make it. Life goes on as a good lesson everyday.

    March 13, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  2. David

    Madoff should be behind bars many years ago. Total failure from SEC.

    But there are other Madoff cases out there that SEC is failing to regulate, like Greenshift ( gers.ob) run by a lawyer with no values. Kevin Kreisler.

    Check him out and his " company", and will fiend a scam with green technologies. Ethanol, clean coal, garbage and plenty more.

    March 13, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  3. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    Obviously, you can steal for decades an not get caught...and when one does ...they simply transfer assets to their family members an become a demonic martyr. The point....of the 72 year-old serving 150 years is that he will never see freedom.

    March 13, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  4. Purnell Kankakee IL.

    Madoff and Stanford are two really sick people! How much money do you have to steal before they put you in prison for what you have done?

    March 13, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  5. Purnell Kankakee IL.

    There has to be a record of someone else other them him cutting checks, Madoff and his family deserve a million year for their actions!

    March 13, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  6. Alex Shih

    I think it's obvious that Madoff have pleaded guilty to save his relatives. What's the point of sentencing a 72 year old man to up to 150 years in prison?

    March 13, 2009 at 1:14 am |
  7. barb

    Anderson, how can we keep our teenagers from choosing violence, or drugs, or gangs when some have no home life, or love. Of course the promise of easy money is pretty good bait.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  8. Pat

    Anderson a while back you showed the faces and names of the people involved in the wall street and banking mess would you please do the same with those SEC regulators that were suppose to have been investigating Madoff and found nothing wrong with his firm.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  9. Connie Campbell

    Of course it's sad that so many people lost so much money ... and I
    can understand their whining. However, balance this against the fact that many of them, for 10-20 years, enjoyed increased wealth. If they
    just left their earnings with Madoff, their feelings of security gave them a quality of life that others did not have. If they drew out any money, then they were able to lead a superior life, better than most. What comes also goes. That's life. Stop whining!

    March 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  10. Connie in Vegas

    Madoff fell on his sword so the billions would go to his family and complicit friends. The S.E.C. should be investigated because someone there is every bit as guilty as Bernie. They shouldn't stop until the billions are found and the ring of thieves are flushed out and jailed.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  11. Bill

    I'm wondering if anyone is investigating the possibility that Bernie M had Swiss Bank accounts and other offshore accounts where he may have buried millions????????

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  12. Md Kabir

    May be he spent most of his moeny of powerball tickets....

    March 12, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  13. Maureen T, Canada

    Good evening Anderson. With respect to Bernie Madoff...don't do the crime if you can't do the time. I hope he gets locked up and they throw away the key. Time for Bernie to switch digs and get out of that swanky Manhattan apartment and now be entitled to three hots and a cot! C'est tout!

    March 12, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  14. Kim

    The people that trusted their money in this ? Trying to understand that more and did they see a return on their investments ? It makes logical sense there were others involved that supported the financial business plan on behalf of Madoff , who were they ? Why didn't the bank red flag it with questions ? All that glitters is not gold !

    March 12, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  15. Isabel, Brasil

    He will leave his luxurious penthouse to live in a cell at the MCC.

    There is no evil that always lasts, or well that never runs out!

    March 12, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  16. nate from new jersey

    I was watching all day today the footage that would be something that i will never forget. I was trying to imagine what he was thinking when he was walking into the court house. I was literally telling my wife that that was his last breath of freedom walking into the court house from the escort vehcle

    March 12, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  17. Kristen - University Park, PA

    They need to clear Madoff's bank accounts out and those of his wife and children. No way they didn't know what dad was doing. Glad that crook is going to jail where he belongs.

    March 12, 2009 at 9:12 pm |
  18. Kupps

    While I am glad Madoff is booked, I am afraid there are many Ponzi schemes that are still out there. One such case appears to be the real estate developer Royal Indian Raj based in Nevada. Many Americans have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars over 2-3 years and they have nothing to show in return. Atleast Bernie made some payments.

    I hope the Bernie case stands out as a beacon to stop Ponzi/Madoff schemes.

    March 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  19. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    I am glad Berine Madoff are on the way back to jail right now for 150 years ahead..... also glad that he already found guilty, I hope that he will learn his own lesson...... I don't understand why he stole his ex-clients's money to collect....... I never trust him at all, But he have to promise his own. no promise to people, when he stole all money billions from stock, I got e-mail from CNN breaking news , it's says that he already found all 11 counts guilty. I am forward to see him tonight. Also, I like to say thank you (CNN) coverage live this morning. See you soon.

    March 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  20. Dick Paoliello Xenia, Ohio

    I’m not current on investments and dividends and how they are taxed. However, it seems to me that if dividends were reported, and taxes were paid on the reported dividends, can the victims of the scheme file a claim for the return of any taxes paid; since the dividends in most cases may have just been reinvested and reported as additional stock which was never purchase, only reported as a paper only transaction..?

    March 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  21. Diane O

    It's great he's behind bars. There are alot more that need to be there also. It is really a shame all those people lost their money, but we have been told for years by the experts to not have all our money in one pot. Also, those people were just as greedy as Madoff. They knew they were getting exceptional returns on their money when us "little people" were only getting a fraction of them. So, they have to take part of the blame.

    March 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  22. Dick Paoliello Xenia, Ohio

    I'm not current on investments and dividends and how they are taxed. However, it seems to me that if dividends were reported, and taxes were paid on the reported dividends, can the victims of the scheme file a claim for the return of any taxes paid, since the dividends in many cases would have just been reinvested...on paper only?

    March 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  23. Annie Kate

    Finally Madoff is where he should have been from the beginning. It was an insult to his victims to allow him house arrest. I'm very glad that is over. I had hoped they would recover more of the funds lost by the investors but it doesn't appear as if they will – I feel for anyone that invested with Madoff and trusted him.

    March 12, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  24. Cindy

    I'll be looking forward to the Madoff report tonight since I was gone all day to the Fern Bank Science Center checking out their dino exhibit. I knew I could count on you all to give me the scoop!!

    I am shocked that he talked so much though. And I am glad that he is finally behind bars!! But no matter what the people he ripped off won't feel any better.


    March 12, 2009 at 8:01 pm |