Emotionally-Charged Courtroom Applauds Decision To Jail Madoff

NEW YORK — A New York judge had to rein in a courtroom packed with seething fraud victims during the hearing in which Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty to what may be Wall Street’s biggest ever scam.

Spectators cheered when Madoff was lead off to jail, immediately following his guilty pleas. He had spent the past three months under house arrest in his $7 million Manhattan penthouse.

When his lawyer described the bail conditions and how Madoff had, “at his wife’s own expense,” paid for private security, loud laughter erupted. The judge warned the crowd to remain silent.

Madoff says he is “deeply sorry and ashamed” for the swindle that wiped out savings accounts worldwide.

Three victims of the fraud confronted him in court, one trying to address Madoff directly saying “I don’t know if you had a chance to turn around and look at the victims.”

The judge directed him to speak directly to the bench.

In addition to prison time, Madoff faces mandatory restitution to victims, forfeiture of ill-gotten gains and criminal fines.