Thursday, Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty and allocated to a $65 billion ponzi scheme that he had been running for decades. The plea makes him legally guilty of eleven counts including fraud, perjury and money laundering.
He will be sentenced June 16th, and could receive as long as 150 years in jail. Given his age of 70, even if the judge goes easy on him it will surely amount to a life sentence.
Given the situation, why would he plead guilty? What’s the upside to him for doing so?
Perhaps he is truly sorry for the damage he did to so many people, but the the multi-decade length of his ponzi scheme belies that. One would expect that he would want to drag this out as long as possible so that as much of his remaining life as possible would be spent on the correct side of the prison.
Did he make a plea so quickly to take the fall for all the others who must have known what he was doing, or even helped him? Perhaps he knows where he’s dying and just wants to help his buddies.
Or was a secret deal cut between Madoff and the prosecutors to protect his family or employees?
There are additional shoes to drop in this case.