Bernard Madoff was sentenced yesterday to 150 years in prison for investment fraud. At this point, the only people charged with a crime are Madoff and an outside accountant.
Before his arrest, Madoff’s firm’s accounts showed $65 billion in assets, but only $1.2 billion have been recovered so far to return to investors.
It is difficult to get a sense of scale of this fraud. One way to think of it is that the staggering 150-year sentence amounts to less than a day in prison for every million dollars missing in investors’ accounts.
It seems inconceivable that only two people could have perpetrated this fraud. If prosecutors are unable to convict any other guilty parties, they would have to consider their efforts to be a failure.