Madoff Family Feud: Ruth, Sons Won't Attend Monday Sentencing

Private guard says Bernie Madoff showed no remorse over plight of victims.

December 17, 2008, 11:29 AM

June 26, 2009— -- Bernard Madoff's wife, Ruth, and sons, Andy and Mark, will not attend his sentencing hearing Monday where a judge is likely to send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Madoff will hear his fate in a room full of his victims with only his lawyers at his side.

"If that's their decision, that's their decision," said Madoff's lawyer Ike Sorkin, of the firm Dickstein Shapiro.

Nick Casale, a former New York city police detective who was hired to guard Madoff during his house arrest says the convicted conman has little or no remorse for his victims.

"He did not seem like the most contrite person I've ever met," Casale said in an interview to be broadcast on 20/20 tonight.

Watch the full story tonight at 10p.m. ET on ABC News' 20/20.

Nor did his wife Ruth express any regret, said Casale.

Mrs. Madoff's lawyer said she had decided not to attend the sentencing Monday. "She will not be there," said Ruth Madoff's lawyer Peter Chavkin. He would not elaborate on her reasons although she has told family friends that she "fears" facing Madoff's victim face to face. Dozens of Madoff's former clients are expected to attend the sentencing, including twelve who will be permitted to address the judge.

As for Madoff's two sons, they have not spoken with their father or their mother since Madoff confessed to them in December that his life was a "big lie." They contacted the FBI and now communicate with their mother and father only through lawyers.

"Ruth and Bernie are appalled at their behavior," said a person close the family, describing a bitter family feud triggered by Madoff's crimes. "Ruth doted on those boys and their behavior is self-indulgent and inexcusable."

A lawyer for the sons did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Judge Denny Chin told Madoff when he pleaded guilty in March that the sentencing guidelines could result in a prison term of 150 years.

Madoff Sentencing

Madoff's lawyer, Ike Sorkin, suggested this week that a sentence of 12 years "will sufficiently address the goals of deterrence, protecting the public, and promoting respect for the law."

The length of the sentence could determine whether Madoff is sent to a harsh maximum security federal prison facility. He has expressed fears of coping with the conditions in a maximum security facility and has met with private consultants who offer expert opinion on how to apply voluntary sentencing guidelines.

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