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Sholam Weiss

Sholam Weiss

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By Ashby JonesIn sentencing convicted swindler Bernard Madoff to 150 years, U.S.

District Judge Denny Chin said he wanted to send a symbolic message.That sentence was the number of years the prosecutors asked for and the statutory maximum for the 11 counts Madoff pleaded guilty to in March.

"Here the message must be sent that Mr.

Madoff's crimes were extraordinary evil," Judge Chin said.

Yet, while the lengthy sentence seems to have pleased some of Madoff's victimsâ€"applause broke out in the courtroom when Judge Chin announced the sentenceâ€"it's certainly not the longest handed down in recent years to white collar criminals, records show.In 2000, a New York businessman named Sholam Weiss received an 845 year sentence for a fraud scheme that took $450 million from an insurance company.


Weiss is currently serving time in a high-security federal prison in northeast Pennsylvania.

In 2008, Norman Schmidt was sentenced to serve 330 years in federal prison for his role in a fraudulent Â"high yield investment scheme.” Mr.

Schmidt is currently serving time in a medium-security federal prison in Texas.

Interestingly, Judge Chin said that the pre-sentence report for Madoff, completed by the U.S.

Probation and Pretrial Services System, erred when it said that the maximum prison sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines was life imprisonment.

He said no count to which Mr.

Madoff pleaded guilty carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Thus, the maximum guidelines sentence could be determined by adding up the maximum penalties for all counts, or 150 years.
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