Madoff Seeks Mercy

A letter from Bernard Madoff's lawyer to the judge set to sentence him declares, "We seek neither mercy nor sympathy." But honestly, isn't begging for a meager 12-year sentence after swindling billions of dollars doing just that? The 71-year-old Madoff is hoping that the "non-violent nature" of his crime, as well as his cooperation with the authorities, will move the judge to leniency; the Ponzi schemer faces up to 150 years. Madoff even went so far as to hire a consulting firm that conducted a study that found that "white-collar offenders facing life in prison received an average sentence of 184 months, or about 15 years," Bloomberg reports. So far, prosecutors have identified 1,341 investors who lost more than $13 billion. Madoff's legendary Ponzi scheme amounted to roughly $65 billion.