Madoff claimed his Ponzi scheme had zip to do with his legitimate broker-dealer business. The feds said it helped finance that business. Once again, Judge Chin should have known that, if the feds were telling the truth, then Madoff was lying to his face. Once again the Chin was oblivious. It never even quivered.
So, if you ask me, the judge acted badly in accepting Madoff’s guilty plea. He allowed Madoff to lie to his face and not to answer questions that cried out for answers. As well, by eliminating the possibility of a trial in which so much would come out, he potentially cloaked much or most of the facts in the non transparency for which the U.S. government and all its branches have been infamous since at least 1964, if not before. Now what we shall learn -- and, maybe more importantly, what is kept from us -- is totally within the discretion of the government, rather than almost inevitably being exposed at a trial due to the exigencies of trial. Bad. All very bad -- unless one takes the position that what this country needs, and what Madoff’s victims need, is more secrecy, not less.*
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