If one thing could push Michael Jackson’s death off the front pages of news Web sites around New York, it is the sentencing of Ponzi scheme perpetrator Bernard Madoff.
Earlier today, a federal judge sentenced Madoff to 150 years in prison — the maximum sentence. Madoff’s attorneys had requested a 12-year sentence, citing his age of 71 years. But the seemingly endless sentence handed down today speaks to the seriousness of Madoff’s crimes, and there was reportedly applause in the courtroom when Judge Denny Chin announced his decision. Now, he will definitely be in jail for the rest of his life.
Prior to the handing down of his sentence, Madoff was confronted by a number of his victims, who spoke of their experiences after losing their life savings in the investor’s scheme. Of course, the New York — and international — media was there to capture it. Here are some stories currently circulating the Web (and we’ll bring you tomorrow’s front pages as well, which are no doubt going to be Madoff-heavy).
The Huffington Post has an in-depth story straight from the courtroom.
“Here the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil and that this kind of manipulation of the system is not just a bloodless crime that takes place on paper, but one instead that takes a staggering toll,” Judge Chin said, according to HuffPo.
And Daniel Collins, the editor of the HuffPo’s new New York page, said “Bernie Madoff belongs to New York,” predicting some biopics would likely show up in a decade or so. Still, Madoff was is far from likable: “New Yorkers love a scoundrel, but not a pompous enigmatic one. Even a crook can make a little effort to provide some entertainment value, and the Madoffs just haven’t lived up to expectations.”
The New York Times has a neat widget on its site (see the left side of the page) that compares Madoff’s sentence to other white collar criminals, like Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling, who was sentenced to less than 25 years, and suicide faker Samuel Israel, who received 20 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $400 million.
And our sister blog TVNewser has a view of the cable networks as the sentence came down this morning.