Bernard Madoff entered federal court this morning and entered a guilty plea to 11 felony counts, admitting to his Ponzi scheme that bilked billions from investors large and small.
CNN reports Madoff hinting at regret:
“I operated a Ponzi scheme,” said Madoff to the packed courtroom, after U.S. District Judge Denny Chin told him to explain his crimes.
“I thought it would end quickly, but it proved impossible,” said Madoff, who stole from more than 4,000 victims through his investment firm. “I am ashamed for these criminal acts. I always knew this day would come.”
He later, according to reports from the trial, fully apologized.
“I am actually grateful for this opportunity to publicly comment about my crimes, for which I am deeply sorry and ashamed,” he said.
“As the years went by, I realized my risk and this day would inevitably come. I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for my crimes.”
Was he sincere? I don’t know. I wasn’t there to hear this confession so I can’t gauge his attitude. A sincere apology would do little for his victims, though, so in the grand scheme of things, his apology may mean little to anybody except himself.
The Jewish Standard will have full coverage in next week’s issue of reactions from Madoff’s victims and their legal options to recoup at least some of their lost money.
The list of victims includes thousands of names, from grandparents who saw their retirement savings disappear after a lifetime of work, to major charities that were completely wiped out. You can click here to see a map of them all.