NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff's brother earned the 10 years in prison he bargained for in a plea deal through his greedy role in Madoff's crimes and by failing to stop them, the government told a judge on Thursday.
Prosecutors said in a sentencing brief that a decade in prison for Peter Madoff, 66, is appropriate after the lousy job he did as chief compliance officer for his brother's investment business, which lost roughly $20 billion for thousands of investors who thought their money had grown to be worth more than $65 billion over several decades. The sentencing is scheduled to take place in Manhattan federal court Dec. 20.
The government said a lengthy prison term is important to send a message to others working at private companies like the now-defunct Madoff firm that they are misinformed if they think they are "'under the radar' and can avoid scrutiny or significant jail terms" if they commit crimes.
Bernard Madoff, who's in his 70s, revealed in December 2008 that he cheated thousands of investors for years, using money from new investors to pay returns to existing clients. He pleaded guilty to fraud and is serving a 150-year prison sentence in Butner, N.C.
Peter Madoff, who had worked for his brother since 1966, claimed at his June plea to conspiracy and falsifying records charges that he was a victim of his brother and was shocked to learn the business was a sham.
"My world was destroyed," he said. "I lost everything I worked for."