Tags: Madoff | fraud | Ponzi

Poll: 74% Say Madoff Deserves Life in Prison

Friday, 16 Jan 2009 05:16 PM

By David A. Patten

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Three out of four Americans want authorities to lock up investment fraud mastermind Bernie Madoff and toss away the key.

A poll released Friday shows 74 percent of respondents want the 70-year-old Madoff to spend the rest of his life behind bars, according to the Rasmussen Reports organization. That compares with only 9 percent don’t want Madoff to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The survey indicates the depth of public anger at Madoff’s activities. Madoff has confessed to a massive Ponzi-style investment scheme that has cost his investors an estimated $50 billion.

Some investors have lost their life savings, while several foundations that invested their money with Madoff are going out of business or cutting back on operations.

Curiously, most who want Madoff to spend the rest of his life in jail think he’ll cut a deal for a lesser sentence. Sixty-six percent think it’s “very likely” that Madoff will one day walk out of jail a free man. Another 18 percent consider it “likely” Madoff will leave prison someday.

Respondents blame greed and lax government oversight for the losses. Madoff is free on $10 million bond, but is under 24-hour guard and restricted to his Manhattan apartment.

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