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 sibling.
Peter Madoff, 67, agreed to serve the time in prison when he pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy and falsifying the books and records of an investment adviser.
About 40 of the thousands of investors who lost $20 billion they invested with the family's investment business wrote victim impact statements submitted to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain. Two spoke during the proceeding.
Peter Madoff told the court he was ashamed of his actions. He said he had "tried to atone by pleading guilty and agreed to forfeit all of my present and future assets."
In delivering the sentence, the judge said 10 years was "sufficient, appropriate, and no greater than necessary."
The sentencing comes four years and a week after Bernard Madoff, now 74, first revealed his epic fraud, which occurred over several decades as the former Nasdaq chairman built a reputation for delivering unparalleled investment results even in bad times. The revelation came only days after the business sent out statements that made investors think their money had grown to a total of more than $65 billion.
Peter Madoff said at his plea that he had no idea his brother was running a Ponzi scheme, paying off longtime investors at times with money from newer investors.
The judge said she did not believe Peter Madoff's claim that he knew nothing about his brother's fraud, and urged him to tell the truth, even after sentencing.
He did concede that he followed his brother's instructions and helped him decide which favored friends, clients, and family members would receive the $300 million that remained in the company's accounts. The checks were never sent.
Peter Madoff has been free on $5 million bail after he agreed to surrender his assets.
Prior to sentencing, his lawyer, John Wing, said in a memorandum that Peter Madoff would "almost certainly live out his remaining days as a jobless pariah, in or out of prison." He called him a victim of his loyalty to his brother.