Felonious company

Reuters / June 30, 2009
  • Email|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

NEW YORK - When Judge Denny Chin sentenced Bernard Madoff to 150 years in prison, he catapulted him into a small class of white-collar criminals facing more than a century behind bars. The sentence far exceeded those in some massive corporate fraud cases. WorldCom chief Bernie Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years, Enron chief executive Jeff Skilling got 24 years, and Adelphia chief financial officer Timothy Rigas got 20 years, but that was later reduced to 17. Other 100-year-plus sentences include:

SHOLAM WEISS, sentenced to 845 years in 2000: New York businessman Weiss was convicted of bilking $125 million from the National Heritage Life Insurance Co and its elderly policyholders. He fled the United States and was sentenced in absentia, but he was eventually extradited from Austria. Weiss is in a federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania, with a release date of 2754, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

KEITH POUND, sentenced to 740 years in 2000: Pound, a mortgage broker from Illinois, was a codefendant with Weiss in the scheme to defraud National Heritage Life Insurance Co. Pound died in prison, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons records.

NORMAN SCHMIDT, sentenced to 330 years in 2008: Schmidt was convicted of fraud in a “high-yield investment scheme’’ that promised returns of 2 percent to 400 percent per month. He sent false monthly statements and encouraged victims to make new investments. Imprisoned at the Beaumont Federal Correction Complex in Texas, his projected release date is 2291, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

WILL HOOVER, sentenced to 100 years in 2004: The Colorado financial adviser was sentenced after being convicted of bilking his clients out of $13 million. Hoover is in a Colorado state prison near Sterling, and could be eligible for parole as early as 2026.