Thursday, July 2, 2009

Haiku 070209

summer winds
skim the treetops...
the grill below


Recently, we read the following:

Washington Post: “Madoff Sentenced to Maximum 150 Years in Prison” By Tomoeh Murakami Tse

"Bernard Madoff was sentenced Monday morning to 150 years in prison for conducting Wall Street's biggest Ponzi scheme, whose victims numbered in the thousands and spanned the globe.

"... When U.S. District Judge Denny Chin announced his decision inside a packed federal courtroom in lower Manhattan, some of the victims let out a loud cheer….

"Madoff's attorney, Ira Lee Sorkin, had asked the judge for a 12-year sentence ... saying that that his client was cooperating with authorities and that he had willingly given himself up when he informed his sons of a $50 billion scheme last December.

"But Chin, who described Madoff's crimes as 'evil,' 'staggering' and 'massive' over a 20-year period, said a message had to be sent that he was being punished accordingly. The magnitude of the fraud, Chin said, was 'off the charts' -- federal sentencing guidelines are for losses up to $400 million dollars. Chin also noted that Madoff's confession had come only after he knew his scheme was within days of collapse.

"In a prepared statement that showed slightly more emotion than his guilty allocution in March, Madoff apologized for his actions, turning around to briefly face his victims in the audience….

"Madoff also said that while he and his wife have been accused of being silent and unsympathetic, 'my wife cries herself to sleep every night....' "


And we thought:

….The apologies and tears are really utterly empty gestures; the 150 years in prison, not nearly long enough. Madoff and his ring of thieves -- wife, children, friends and close business associates who profited from the giant Ponzi scheme – should have all their money and possessions forfeited.

The proceeds should go to a trust that would serve, first, to help meet the basic needs of the Madoffs’ most devastated victims – the retirees and their families who lost life savings. Second, to help restore the victimized pension funds and school endowments to viable levels. And, next, to help re-fund the charitable foundations and non-profits involved in social services and humanitarian work, so that they may continue their programs….

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