[JURIST] Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive] was sentenced Monday to 150 years in prison on securities fraud charges [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] stemming from his multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Madoff, 71, appeared before Judge Denny Chin of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] and was given the maximum sentence for the 11 fraud charges to which he pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in March. Madoff made a statement in court apologizing [Bloomberg report] to his victims. Prosecutors are still investigating whether anyone else at the firm was involved in the fraud scheme and charged [JURIST report] Madoff's accountant David Friehling in connection with the scheme in March.
In April, Chin issued a restraining order that protects from bankruptcy more than $100 million in Madoff's assets. On the same day, a federal bankruptcy judge appointed an interim trustee [Bloomberg report] to oversee Madoff's assets ahead of attempts by injured investors to recoup losses suffered in the scheme. In February, Madoff consented [JURIST report] to a partial judgment [SEC press release] with the SEC over civil charges brought by the SEC to obtain a preliminary injunction and asset freeze against him. The same day, then-SEC Division of Enforcement Director Linda Thomsen announced she was stepping down from her post [SEC press release]. In the week following Madoff's charges, then-SEC Chairman Christopher Cox [official profile] said that he would launch an immediate investigation [press release; JURIST report] into how the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Madoff went undetected for so long.