NEW YORK — The brother of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for crimes committed in the shadow of his notorious sibling by a judge who said she didn't believe his claims that he did not know about the epic fraud.
Peter Madoff, 67, agreed when he pleaded guilty in June to serve the maximum sentence to the charges of conspiracy and falsifying the books and records of an investment adviser. He follows to prison his 74-year-old brother, who is serving a 150-year sentence after admitting he created a fraud so large decades ago that thousands of people lost $20 billion.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain urged Peter Madoff to tell the truth even now. She said he was "frankly not believable" when he claimed at his plea that he learned of the fraud only when his brother revealed it to him just before surrendering to authorities.
Peter Madoff spoke briefly Thursday, saying: "I am deeply ashamed of my conduct and have tried to atone by pleading guilty and have agreed to forfeit all of my present and future assets."
He added: "I am profoundly sorry that my failures let many people down, including my loved ones."
The judge noted that 10 years was the maximum sentence allowed by the charges to which Madoff had pled and repeatedly urged Madoff to relieve the pain of investors by revealing more about the Madoff business.
As part of a forfeiture agreement, Madoff's wife, Marion, and daughter Shana must forfeit nearly all of their assets. The government said those assets and assets that will be forfeited by other family members include several homes, a Ferrari and more than $10 million in cash and securities. It said his wife will be left with $771,733. Besides the Madoff brothers, no other family members have been arrested.
Since the fraud was revealed, a court-appointed trustee has reached agreements to recover about $9.3 billion and is hoping to recover another $3 billion in the next 18 months. About $3 billion has been approved for redistribution to victims through an ongoing claims process.