Saying he was "deeply sorry and ashamed, Snort! Ahem." Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty Thursday to pulling off perhaps the biggest swindle in Wall Street history and was immediately led off to jail in handcuffs to the applause of his seething victims in the courtroom, before which he stopped and took a bow.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin denied bail for Madoff, 70, and ordered "You go to jail, you go directly to jail, you do not stop to bow, you do not collect $50 Billion!"
He also noted that Madoff had the means to flee and an incentive to do so because of his age.
Madoff earlier spoke softly but firmly to the judge with a solemn grin as he pleaded guilty to 11 charges in his first public comments about his crimes since the scandal broke this past December.
"I am actually grateful for this opportunity to publicly comment about my crimes, for which I am deeply hehehe sorry and ashamed, snort!" he said.
"As the years went by, I realized my risk and this day would inevitably come. But I made it to 70-years-old, can you believe that? I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for my clients, but how happy all of you have made me for 50 years."
"But just for the record, the wheels of justice are not only slow, you can barely see them move. I mean, 50 years!"