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March 12th, 2009
09:45 AM ET

One victim asks: Was it worth it, Mr. Madoff?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/03/09/madoff.ponzi.scheme.plea/art.madoff.jpg]

Robert Chew
Time

Was it worth it, Mr. Madoff? You knew all along, but you kept it going, you kept it quiet. You had the ability to end it years ago, you could have saved thousands of loved ones, friends, retirees and charities from financial ruin, but you kept going deeper into the quicksand of your crime, without a struggle, without remorse, as if our lives and yours were just another deal.

We cried like babies that night three months ago when we learned how you robbed us. Did you cry, Mr. Madoff? A thousand, maybe 10,000 cried that night. We shivered in our collective adrenaline-fueled shock. We were physically unhurt, physically just fine, but that night our bodies shook with fear — everything was gone. A minute before the phone rang, things were good, even great. Afterward they would never be the same. All our hard work, all our savings, all our plans were wiped out forever.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Wall St.
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    IF they take Madoff's wife's assets and some of his children's assets then perhaps that will add to the punishment Madoff gets sentenced too. He can sit in jail and think about all the people he hurt including his family who is out trying to put back together their lives.

    March 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm |
  2. Lynn

    The Govt. should be taking everything and I mean everything! that Madoff and Tom Petters have. (same situation but not quite the extent of Madoff) and return it to the folks he screwed. So, thier poor wife's and children that all took part in this are pennyless, so be it, better to have 2 family's then 1000's homeless. If anyone else screws folks like they did we would all be held accountable and would not get to "keep" anything to make sure thier family's are living the life they are so fond of. This will continue to happen if the Govt. does not step in and make a VERY LOUD statement.

    March 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  3. Maria Concha

    Yes, it was worth it. This guy took all this money and will serve some time in prison. But his corrupt family will keep the money he stole.

    If the government does not go after the money, no matter where it may be and takes it back, others will continue to do this in the future.

    This animal knows what he is doing with this plea deal and the government will most likely play along with him.

    March 12, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  4. 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 1:42 pm |
  5. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    I'm not saying what Madoff did was right---but then again you can't tell me that those who invested didn't see something wrong with his proposals? Or did he really accommodate the "greedy?"

    March 12, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  6. Melissa

    Do not pass "Go" and do not collect $200. On the way from the penthouse to the Big House, that is, Bernie.

    March 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  7. Sharon S

    Worthless piece of trash and vile nasty flee on the back of society he brought a disease just as bad as the plague he helped destroy our economy!

    I think they should give him the death penalty just so we never have to see his ugly face again or use taxpayers money so he can live!

    And by the way they should also fire everyone who was supposed to be regulating this man, it is more than obvious they were being paid off not to bring his schemes to light? So why are these people who worked for the Regulations system still employed and not brought up on charges?
    I would like to see ALL envolved be brought to justice so would everyone else in this country this was more than an outrage it was an assault on our creditionals as a system of justice!

    March 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Barry Davidson

    This guy is nothing but a psychopath, plain and simple. His apology is a joke. Screws countless people out of billions of dollars and he trys to explain his behavior away by saying he didn't know how to get out of the
    scheme he started.
    I will say he is not the only one complicit in this. Fedral regulators are to blame almost as much since they did not do the job they were hired to do. Being a Canadian however the socialist system I work in with all our regulations don't prevent this type of crime but it sure lessens the impact a great deal dut to the regulations we have.

    March 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  9. Tim

    Bernard Madoff is relocating from a 7 million dollars home to a 700 million home, and it is only fair that his wife, son's, brother, friends and co-workers join him as soon as they can at this new residence.
    And may he live a long long long life there.

    March 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  10. Sherry, N. Calif.

    So when we put Bernie away can we then start finding the rest of the slime bucket thieves in Banking, Government andWall St.?

    March 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  11. Mary in Villa Hills

    Madoff deserves the maximum and hopefully the judge will realize this. Giving him anything less is sending a message to people to try these schemes. Everyone knows money is hidden and he wiil only pay 20 years or less with good behavior. Pay the max and this type crime will be less attractive.

    March 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  12. xavier presley

    lock him up and yake the money from his wife his son .give it back to the people he hurt

    March 12, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  13. xavier presley

    they should take all the money from all his family and give it to the peolpe that trusted him.his wife knew about this and should be in jail and his son also.If they lrt them go free says alot about the system.

    March 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  14. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    The man was addicted to "greed"....of course he thought it was worth it until he was caught. The surprise to him...and everyone...is the length of time it took for the SEC, the FBI or whoever holds US citizens responsible for criminal behavior, to uncover the Ponzi scheme.

    March 12, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  15. Isabel, Brazil

    Excellent post!
    The post makes us think that people do not think in the other, and each increasingly think of themselves.

    Mr. Madoff: synonymous with corruption and lack of character.

    Seeking a peculiarity of this mr., for the Beat360, there two days ago, I found the following quote from Madoff, there some years ago:

    "On regulations:" In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules ... "

    That lack of shame!
    But for those who do evil, the punishment always comes, sometimes delay, but enough!

    As my father said: our life is a mirror and everything we do (good things or bad things) reflects back to ourselves.

    March 12, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  16. bookbabie

    I'm guessing the only tears he shed are for himself.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:56 am |