NEW YORK, Jun 16 – Calling him a "murderer" and a "monster," more than 100 victims of Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff have asked the judge who will sentence him on June 29 for the maximum sentence.
A total of 113 victims of the fraud have written letters and emails to US District Judge Denny Chin, almost all calling for a life prison term and some demanding even further punishment.
Chin could sentence Madoff, 71, to up to 150 years in prison. The former chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange operated the fraud for decades, conning investors into depositing billions of dollars that were then used to pay fictitious returns.
"Please make sure the facility in which he rots is extremely uncomfortable," wrote Jesse Cohen, a businessman from New Jersey who lost all his savings to Madoff\’s massive Ponzi scheme, in one of the letters released by federal prosecutors.
Summarising the views of many victims, Ron Weinstein, 62, wrote: "This scum should never again see the light of day."
Madoff has been in jail since March after admitting guilt in the scheme, the biggest in Wall Street history and estimated to have involved around 61 billion dollars, of which only one billion has been recovered.
Natalie Erger, who described herself as "an investor sentenced by Madoff to a lifetime of financial ruin and emotional unrest," compared the financier to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.
Many of the investors were elderly retirees who thought their life savings were in safe hands.
Norman Feinberg, a 70-year-old retiree, said he had turned to Madoff because of his "impeccable reputation".
Carl and Alyse Kornblum, respectively 70 and 66 years old, wrote: "Can you believe as teenagers and school chums and young married we were once friends with Bernie and Ruth Madoff?
"I really can\’t believe Bernie could be such a sociopathic low-life!"
The angry words reflected the frustration and outrage of those who relied on Madoff for years to handle their funds, ranging from modest life savings to large fortunes.
"You are a murderer," wrote investor Phyllis Lerner, also calling Madoff, a member of New York\’s elite Jewish society and a frequent fixture at golf courses in Palm Beach, Florida, a "rapist" who committed "generational theft."
Jackie Stone called the former Wall Street star a "killer" and a "destroyer."
"I cry every day," she wrote.
William Cohen, another investor, said Madoff "is a psychopathic lying egomaniac who is still trying to feather his nest with a more moderate sentence."