Calls for Justice: Madoff Victims Anxious for Today's Hearing

"I am more interested not in what happens with the Bernard Madoff, but more so with what is the government and the SEC going to do for us victims?" Shapiro said. "How are we going to recover the money that has been stolen from us, which would not have been stolen had the SEC done its job?" He said what happens after Madoff is behind bars is most important, which is why he is fighting for a revision of the tax laws so that Madoff victims can recover taxes that they paid on their phony earnings and for recovery payments from the SEC.

"We need Congress to step in and be held accountable and make restoration to us because of the failings of our government," Shapiro said. "We have a long road ahead of us."

Victim Hopes Madoff Lives a Long Life Behind Bars

Lynn and Bob Sustak of Atlanta, GA, lost their entire seven figure retirement fund that they had planned on for inheritance for their five children and college money for their seven grandchildren. They also wrote a letter to Judge Chin, pleading for immediate incarceration.

"I said I don't know what I would do if I was in the same room as him," Lynn Sustak said of Madoff. "I think I would actually throw up."

Attorney Helen Chaitman, of Manhattan, said she hopes to confront Madoff face to face in court and anticipates that the atmosphere will be filled with anger.

"I'm thinking of it in terms of the 18th century trials in England where crowds of people would gather and throw stones," Chaitman said.

David Arenson, lost $65,000 in the Madoff scam - money that was supposed to go to a donor search for Arenson to get a much needed bone marrow transplant. Arenson has chronic lymphocytic leukemia and his doctors say there is no cure without a transplant.

"If I expect to live to be as old as Bernie Madoff is, I'm going to need a bone marrow transplant," Arenson told ABC News. "And that money that I had in Madoff, that my family had in Madoff, would've gone a long way to making that doable."

When Arenson was diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 52, he was given an 8 to 15 year life expectancy, but Arenson says he hopes Madoff will live a very long life – behind bars.

"May he live to be 100," Arenson said. "He ran the world's largest Ponzi scheme, may he live to be the world's oldest man and spend as many years as possible in prison."

Madoff, 70, is expected to plead guilty today to 11 felony charges including securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and perjury. The disgraced financier, who allegedly ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, faces a maximum sentence of 150 years.

"The charges reflect an extraordinary array of crimes committed by Bernard Madoff for over 20 years," said Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin. "While the alleged crimes are not novel, the size and scope of Mr. Madoff's fraud are unprecedented."

Though Madoff is expected to plead guilty, it could be several months before he is sent to prison.

Prosecutors have said that Madoff's expected plea will not end the matter and that their investigation will continue. Madoff is so far the only person charged in the purported fraud, but investigators continue to look for possible accomplices and have not ruled out his sons nor his wife, Ruth. Madoff has insisted that he committed the massive fraud on his own.

Click Here for the Investigative Homepage.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...