Madoff will not appeal 150-year sentence: lawyer

NEW YORK Thu Jul 9, 2009 11:43am EDT

Booking mug shot of Bernard Madoff released to Reuters on March 17, 2009. REUTERS/UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE/FOIA/Handout

Booking mug shot of Bernard Madoff released to Reuters on March 17, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE/FOIA/Handout

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Arch swindler Bernard Madoff will not appeal the 150-year prison sentence he received for masterminding a global multibillion-dollar investment fraud, his main lawyer said on Thursday.

Madoff, 71, was sentenced on June 29 by U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin to an effective life term for Wall Street's biggest swindle and had the right to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York.

"We are not going to be appealing," Madoff's main lawyer Ira Lee Sorkin said. "That's our decision and we have no further comment."

The disgraced financier is jailed in a cell close to the Manhattan federal court where he pleaded guilty in March to criminal charges, including securities fraud, money laundering and perjury that together carried penalties of 150 years.

His sentence was the stiffest handed down for big-time white collar crime compared with corporate scandals of recent years involving executives of WorldCom, Enron and Adelphia, Refco and the Bayou hedge fund.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has not yet assigned Madoff a prison, which is expected to be a medium security facility where drug dealers and gangsters are also incarcerated.

At the sentencing proceeding, where angry defrauded investors described their financial ruin, Sorkin asked that Madoff be imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York. The prison, about 70 miles northwest of New York City houses 1,100 inmates.

Madoff, who was arrested by the FBI in December, has not named accomplices in the classic "cash in, cash out" fraud that prosecutors said was as much as $65 billion. His lawyer disputes the amount lost.

The only other person charged so far is his outside accountant, David Friehling, but a law enforcement source said in June that 10 or more people being investigated by the FBI could be criminally charged in the coming months or beyond.

Madoff has been stripped of all his wealth, including luxury properties, yachts and other belongings. His wife, Ruth Madoff, was allowed to keep $2.5 million under an agreement with prosecutors, but authorities seized the couple's penthouse apartment on July 2.

The case is USA v Madoff 09-213 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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