NEW YORK (Reuters) – Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison on Monday for perpetrating the biggest and most brazen investment fraud in Wall Street history.The courtroom erupted in cheers and applause as U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin imposed the maximum possible prison sentence on the 71-year-old defendant.

Madoff stood facing the judge with his hands clasped in front of him as he learned his fate. “The fraud here was staggering,” Chin said, after listening to angry statements from some of Madoff’s victims.

Before his sentencing, Madoff addressed the court. “I cannot offer you an excuse for my behavior,” he said, speaking in a calm voice. “How do you excuse betraying thousands of investors who entrusted me with their life savings?

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