NEW YORK - The younger brother of Bernard Madoff will serve 10 years in prison for his role in his brother's Ponzi scheme that stole billions of dollars from investors, a US judge said on Thursday.
Peter Madoff, 67, pleaded guilty in June to criminal charges including conspiracy to commit securities fraud for falsifying the books and records of the investment advisory company founded by his brother.
US District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain adopted prosecutors' recommendations and sentenced Madoff to 10 years in prison.
She also ordered him to forfeit what she called a"draconian" $143.1 billion, which she said would seal his"financial ruination."
"To take his story at face value, he knew that the business operation was a little bit crooked, and he was content to go along with that," Swain said.
"We all know that a crooked operation is rarely if ever just a 'little bit' crooked."
The judge said Madoff's prison term would begin on Feb. 6 and said she would recommend he serve it at a federal prison in Otisville, New York.
His lawyers had asked that he remain free until after his granddaughter's Bat Mitzvah on Jan. 19.
He was also sentenced to one year supervised release following prison. "I am deeply ashamed of my conduct," Peter Madoff said at the sentencing.
"I accept full responsibility for my actions."