NEW YORK (WPIX)—A sense of vindication Monday for thousands of investors who lost millions of dollars in the $65-billion dollar Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff, as a judge sentenced the disgraced money manager to a maximum prison term of 150 years.
"I really held back crying," Sharon Lissauer told PIX News. "I am very emotional ... I lost everything."
Witnesses said Madoff, 71, listened quietly as many of his victims took the stand and described how he spoiled their security funds and urged U.S. District Judge Denny Chin to send him to prison for life.
"Bernie was very stoic," victim Patricia Silver said outside of court, after Madoff's sentencing. Silver, who along with her husband, invested with Madoff, said while she was pleased with the judge's verdict, she is looking for even more justice in the matter.
"What will be enough, in my estimation, is when his family is held accountable for the part they had in it as well," said an emotional Silver. "He loves his family and that's what will cause him the ultimate torment."
As part of the judgement, Madoff and his wife Ruth, will be forced for forfeit nearly $80 million worth of property, which include $60 million and three homes, including the couple's Hampton's estate. The value of those assets will be used to partially compensate victims, depending on how much they invested in Madoff's firm.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, an organization aimed at shielding investors in brokerage firms, has also agreed to shell out $500,000 to victims. However, indirect investors aren't covered and shareholders are only slated to get back what they invested not what the firm told them their investments were worth.
"Victims are being victimized again by the Security Investor Protection Corp.," said victim Richard Feldman. "There are maybe tens of thousands of people who would normally be entitled to some compensation for their losses...they're not gonna see a dime."
Last week, Madoff's attorney Ira Sorkin, urged the judge to give Madoff a lighter sentence since he is only expected to live another 13 years -- according to data collected by the Social Security Administration regarding to the average life expectancy of a 71-year-old male.
Madoff pleaded guilty to 11-felony counts on March 12. He was arrested back in December after he confessed to his sons that he was behind one of history's biggest financial frauds.
"Bernie how could you do this to us.. .you've lost everything, but most of all you've lost the respect of your family and you've lost the respect of your Madoff name," said Silver.