Lawyer: Madoff won’t appeal 150-year sentence

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff will not appeal his 150-year sentence for a fraud that unraveled overnight last December when Madoff confessed to his sons that nearly $65 billion he promised investors was safe was actually only worth a few hundred million dollars.

“We won’t be appealing the sentence,” Madoff’s lawyer, Ira Sorkin, said Thursday. He declined to say why the decision was made. Rebekah Carmichael, a prosecutor’s spokeswoman, declined to comment.

The 71-year-old Madoff was sentenced last week for a fraud that spanned at least two decades. He pleaded guilty in March to charges that he bilked thousands of investors out of billions of dollars.

At his sentencing, Madoff apologized to thousands of victims, describing his epic fraud as a “problem,” ”an error of judgment” and “a tragic mistake.”

He said he and his wife Ruth were tormented, saying she “cries herself to sleep every night, knowing all the pain and suffering I have caused.”

Last Friday, Ruth Madoff was forced out of the $7 million Manhattan penthouse where the couple primarily lived, although they also had homes in the Hamptons, Florida and France. Those homes and several yachts, together worth tens of millions of dollars, are being sold to reimburse investors.

Despite the efforts to liquidate his estate, it was expected that investors will receive only a small portion of the more than $13 billion they originally invested.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press