Bernard Madoff sentenced to 150 years

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — A federal judge sentenced Bernard Madoff, the convicted mastermind of the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme ever, to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal court Monday.

Judge Denny Chin of U.S. District Court in New York announced the sentence just moments after Madoff apologized to his victims.

“I live in a tormented state for all the pain and suffering I created,” Madoff said. “I left a legacy of shame. It is something I will live with for the rest of my life.”

Turning to face some of his victims, he addressed them directly: “Saying I’m sorry is not enough. I turn to face you. I know it will not help. I’m sorry.”

Madoff said he was not asking for forgiveness and not offering any excuses for his behavior.

“How can you excuse betraying thousands of investors?” he asked. “How can you excuse deceiving hundreds of employees? How can you excuse lying to and deceiving your wife who still stands by you?”

Victims urged a judge to hand down the maximum life sentence against Bernard Madoff, the mastermind of the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme ever.

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