Madoff pleads guilty to $50-bn fraud, jailed

March 12th, 2009 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 12 (DPA) Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff will go to jail after admitting in court Thursday to a $50-billion fraud that entwined hundreds of investors around the world and has made him the poster-child of Wall Street greed in the current financial crisis.
Madoff pleaded guilty to all 11 criminal counts, telling the lower Manhattan federal court that he was “deeply sorry and ashamed,” according to broadcaster CNBC. Judge Denny Chin accepted the guilty plea and said Madoff would go to prison until he is sentenced June 16.

Madoff’s lawyer Ira Sorkin Tuesday said the investor would plead guilty after failing to reach a plea deal with prosecutors. The 70-year-old investor has been under house arrest since January at his luxurious Upper East Side Manhattan home on $10 million bail.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has estimated Madoff could face up to 150 years in prison. He was charged with securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering and filing false statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Madoff was arrested in December for allegedly running a $50- billion pyramid “Ponzi” scheme, under which he paid handsome dividends to investors over 20 years by continually collecting fresh funds from new clients.

His victims included celebrities, charities, universities and individual investors around the world.

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