Once you admit you're guilty of a crime, should you go to prison?
That was the question debated this morning after Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to every count that's been filed against him for running a Ponzi scheme that stole $65 billion dollars from investors.
"I think the likelihood [of Madoff returning home] is very slim. I'm sure his attorney told him to pack his toothbrush after his guilty plea," said CBS' The Early Show legal analyst Lisa Bloom. "For his attorney to show why he should continue to have his freedom, I don't expect to see that."
But others said he should be allowed to return to his apartment until he is sentenced. "That's the way bail works," one analyst told CNBC.
As this is being written, the judge is still hearing details of the scheme and hasn't made a decision on Madoff's fate. He'll be sentenced in June.
Meanwhile the Associated Press reports that his victims are worried Madoff will take some secrets to prison with him. "The real problem here is you could not have committed a fraud of this magnitude and duration without a lot of people helping you and so the question is who helped you and I believe he is determined to try to protect those people who assisted him," said Harvey Pitt, the former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Do you think this is a good case for waterboarding?" a CNBC anchor asked, apparently seriously, this morning. The anchor, appropriately so, expressed compassion for Madoff's victims saying they did nothing wrong
Update 10:13 a.m. - The judge says he'll send Madoff to jail pending sentencing.
Update 11:47 a.m. - Bloomberg reports that Madoff likely won't be given what some ex-federal prisoners say is a harsh sentence -- time in a federal prison facility in Minnesota. It says he'll end up in Louisiana, North Carolina, or New Jersey.
(Photo: Getty Images)
'Even Hitler was like Bernie come on"
What about his co-conspirators? There is NO WAY that he operated alone - it would be impossible at that scale.
Then punish, er prosecute the regulators who didn't (fraud? conspiracy? racketeering?), and the rest of wall street while they're at it.
If you operate a ponzi scheme: JAIL and asset forfeiture
If you helped operate a ponzi scheme: JAIL and asset forfeiture
If you went to a media outlet to assure the masses that your company was A-OK on Friday and declare bankruptcy/ ask for bailout on Wednesday: JAIL and asset forfeiture (FRAUD)
If you rated bad assets AAA and knew that the rating model inadequately considered risk: JAIL and asset forfeiture.
There isn't one entity to blame for this economic disaster, but rather there are a multitude of them who deserve to be punished and lose their ill-gotten gains. Am I angry? Certainly, and everyone who has watched their 401k become a 201k should be too. But where are the cops?
At least HE cleaned up after his dog.
/For shame Bob.