Bernard Madoff, the rogue financier who literally made billions of dollars disappear, received the maximum sentence allowed for his crimes today after a hearing that lasted only an hour and a half. Madoff had already pleaded guilty in March.
The New York Times reports that in handing down the sentence, Judge Denny Chin declared "no friends, family or other supporters had submitted any letters on Mr. Madoff’s behalf, attesting to the strength of his character or good deeds he had done."
An excellent Frontline documentary about Madoff details the scandal, including the many investigations that somehow failed to catch him. It provides a window, already closing, into a world of wealth that, like the stratosphere itself, is all but invisible.