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10 more people face Madoff charges

AUTHORITIES are pursuing charges against 10 more people in the Bernard Madoff financial scandal after the mastermind of one of the biggest financial frauds in history was sentenced to spend the rest of his days behind bars, The Associated Press has learned.

A person familiar with the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing, wouldn't detail what the potential charges would be or say whether the 10 people include Madoff's family or former employees.

So far, only Madoff and an accountant accused of failing to make basic auditing checks have been criminally charged in the multibillion dollar hoax.

In court on Monday, the 71-year-old Madoff admitted it was impossible for him to excuse deeds that United States District Judge Denny Chin said cost investors US$13.2 billion by conservative estimates and US$50 billion by the estimate Madoff gave his sons in December.

"I don't ask any forgiveness," Madoff told Chin. "Although I may not have intended harm, I did a great deal of harm."

Later, he turned around to look at the victims lining the first row of the gallery.

"I will turn and face you," he said mechanically. "I'm sorry. I know that doesn't help you."

"This is not just a matter of money," Chin said. "The breach of trust was massive. Investors - individuals, charities, pension funds, institutional clients - were repeatedly lied to, as they were told their funds would be invested in stocks when they were not."

Madoff received the maximum sentence of 150 years in prison for the massive Ponzi scheme operated at least since the early 1990s that demolished the life savings of thousands of people, wrecked charities and shook confidence in the United States financial system.


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