Bernard Madoff Sentenced

Bernard Madoff was sentenced to the maximum of 150 years in prison.  The hearing in Manhattan Federal Courthouse this morning was crowded and emotional; Bernard Madoff, architect of the world's biggest financial fraud, faced the judge and some of his victims; he told them about “the shame he has felt” and “the pain he has caused” by running a 65-billion dollar “ponzi” scheme that ruined thousands of investors.  The judge also listened to a handful of victims before announcing the sentence.  Outside the courthouse this morning many of Madoff victims said there was nothing he could do to ease their pain.  The government says Madoff ran his scam for decades, investigators say it started in the 1960's.  Prosecutors say the computerized –legitimate — operation was a cover for the — criminal — scheme being run one floor below; there, thousands of bogus monthly account statements were mailed out to customers who thought they owned blue chip stocks and were making hefty returns.  Last week a judge issued a 171 billion dollar forfeiture order stripping Madoff and his wife Ruth of virtually all of their assets including this 7 million dollar Manhattan penthouse apartment.