After losing his entire life savings to the Bernie Madoff con job, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo has a better idea for punishing the 71-year-old convicted swindler, who was sentenced Monday to 150 years in prison for masterminding the largest Ponzi scheme in history.
“I think I probably would’ve sold tickets and let the highest bidder come beat him up with a baseball bat and then divide up the money among all the people that he stung,” Tancredo said Monday “with a laugh,” 9News reports.
Tancredo was among dozens of Colorado residents, foundations and pension plans wiped clean when Madoff’s scheme collapsed late last year. The Littleton Republican, who retired from Congress in 2008 after a failed presidential bid, told Fox31’s Eli Stokels he was unmoved by Madoff’s courtroom admission he “made a terrible mistake” and “left a legacy of shame.”
“Well, he got what he deserves, that’s one reaction,” Tancredo said. “But the other is that I just wish I didn’t have to think about this anymore. A good day is the day I don’t have to think about Bernie Madoff or the fact that I lost almost our entire life’s savings.”
Tancredo, whose losses total an estimated $1 million, applauded a move by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Golden Democrat, to change IRS rules so indirect investors can write off losses.
“I think there’s liability there — I mean, how many times did the SEC ignore warnings?” Tancredo told The Denver Post’s Miles Moffeit.
Like many caught in Madoff’s scheme, Tancredo didn’t invest directly with the New York-based fund manager. After earning steady returns for years with the Boulder-based Agile Group, Tancredo and others were surprised last fall to learn the investment firm had thrown in with Madoff and lost everything.
Conservative radio talker Mike Rosen, another Agile investor and Madoff victim, had other plans for the Ponzi schemer. The 850 KOA host, who regularly promoted the Agile Group for the “serious, demanding investor” (listen here), earlier this year compared Madoff’s crimes to murder. After Madoff’s sentencing, The Denver Post reported:
Said KOA radio talk-show host Mike Rosen, another victim: “I would have handled the sentence a little differently, such as waterboarding him in order to have him divulge where the money’s hidden. In exchange for that, they cut his sentence from 150 years to 100 years.”