The man who confessed to organizing the largest fraud in U.S. history,
Bernard Madoff, has been sentenced to 150 years in prison.
Thousands of people lost billions of dollars in the investment scheme, and some of them testified at Monday's hearing. Some spoke in great anger, others tearfully. Many said Madoff ruined them financially and urged the judge to give him a long prison term.
Madoff lured investors into his scheme by claiming he was delivering market-beating results through shrewd investing. Instead, he was paying off old investors with funds from new investors, giving the victims the false impression that they were making significant profits.
Before the judge imposed the sentence, Madoff spoke in court, apologizing to his victims.
Madoff's scheme went undetected by U.S. financial regulators for some two decades, prompting calls to drastically overhaul oversight of the system.
Officials are now investigating other people associated with Madoff's company and family, though only one other person associated with him has been charged with a crime so far.