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Bernard Madoff’s guilty plea
With no trial, how much will we learn about the swindler's operation?
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ernard Madoff will plead guilty to 11 counts of fraud Thursday, said Scot Paltrow in Portfolio.com, and since there won’t be a trial, prosecutors will present “criminal information” papers that might, finally, shine some light on the main mysteries of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme: “How much money did investors really lose? And where did it go?” Madoff claimed his fraud cost $50 billion, but his investors likely have significantly less capital at stake—maybe $17 billion.

Then why are federal prosecutors seeking $170 billion in restitution? said Owen Thomas in Gawker. “Don’t they understand the nature of a Ponzi scheme—that the money’s gone?” I guess Madoff can contemplate that bit of “gallows humor” as he’s spending the rest of his life behind bars.

The expected guilty plea, without a plea bargain, is a big step “toward public redemption” for the prosecutors, said David Weidner in MarketWatch. Madoff has been a step ahead of them since his Ponzi scheme imploded—he’s been jailed in his “swanky Manhattan apartment,” which his wife claims as her asset, and “most unbelievably,” no one else has been accused in his massive fraud. Now the “justice-hungry public” wants more.

And it’s likely to get it, said Lucinda Franks in The Daily Beast. According to sources, the SEC and federal prosecutors are considering civil or criminal indictments against 20 or more alleged co-conspirators, including Madoff’s wife and several other family members. Madoff’s case may be wrapping up, but the drama will continue for months.

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