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Madoff rules out appealing 150-year jail term

world Updated: Jul 09, 2009 23:00 IST

AFP
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Disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff, convicted of running the biggest financial fraud in US history, has decided not to appeal his 150-year prison sentence, his lawyer said on Thursday.

"We decided not to file an appeal," Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, told AFP.

Legal experts had said an appeal would have been unlikely to achieve a reduction in Madoff's sentence, which effectively means the 71-year-old will spend his last days in prison.

Last month's sentence came some six months after the biting economic downturn forced Madoff to unmask himself as behind one of the biggest financial scams in history.

Prosecutors say about 13 billion dollars was handed to Madoff.

The financier himself has talked about losing some 50 billion dollars, which is believed to be the amount that would have been paid out had the funds been properly invested.

Among Madoff's victims were Hollywood and international celebrities, several of the world's best-known banks and Jewish charities, some of which were forced to close after the scheme unraveled.

Madoff told the court in March that of the billions of dollars that passed through his hands during the three-decade scam, he never invested one percent in the market. Instead he stashed the funds in a Chase Manhattan bank account.

The funds were then used to pay out "dividends" to investors in what is known as a "Ponzi scheme."