|Screenshot of Peter Madoff|
On June 29th, 2012, Peter Madoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and falsifying documents in the world’s biggest and most devastating Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in addition to forfeiting $146 billion of his assets on December 20th. But horrified at the thought of Madoff missing his granddaughter's bat mitzvah, friends and family, led by Madoff's granddaughter and Madoff's rabbi, Central Synagogue Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, orchestrated a campaign to get Madoff's reporting date changed to February 6th. Madoff was also allowed to choose his own prison; Otisville Prison Camp, a medium security prison that will be his home for the next 10 years, was named by Forbes magazine as one of America’s top 10 cushiest prisons.
I don't remember David Duke, Shaun Walker, David Lane, or Matt Hale being allowed to choose their own prisons.
The bat mitzvah, celebrating the traditional Jewish coming of age, was for his granddaughter Rebecca Skoller. On January 19th, at the Central Synagogue in Midtown, Skoller read passages from the Torah during the ceremony, and then joined her grandfather and more than 100 guests for food and fun, dining on catered salmon, tuna and bagels. Before that, her grandfather said a brief prayer in Hebrew and touched his lips to the Torah. The celebration continued at the 404 NYC club on January 20th.
Some of Madoff's victims were outraged. Michael DeVita, 62, who lost his retirement assets to the Madoff scam, said “I would much prefer that Peter Madoff be locked up and the only way he can attend the bat mitzvah is through pictures sent to him in prison”. Shelley Ludlow, whose mother lost her life savings in the scam, said "I don’t think he should have any rights. She has nothing, and here he can go and party — that’s injustice.” Although Peter Madoff pleaded guilty, he continues to blame his brother Bernie, who got a 150-year sentence, for roping him in. Unfortunately, since Peter Madoff had $146 billion in assets to forfeit, and neither Michael DeVita nor Shelley Ludlow's mother could ever buy the smell of $146 billion, their interests get lost in the shuffle.
For those who are interested, Wikipedia provides an overview of the Madoff investment scam.