Bernard Madoff pleads guilty to 11 felonies

The disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty Thursday to a colossal Ponzi scheme that robbed investors across Westchester and the world of billions of dollars.

Upon his arrival at the Federal Court in Manhattan, Madoff told the judge he knew what he was doing was wrong and criminal , and then he pleaded guilty to all 11 charges against him.

Madoff has apologized for scamming thousands of investors out of some $65 billion beginning in the early 1990s. Several of his victims, including investor Richard Friedman, who lost $3 million, came to court Thursday to witness Madoff's downfall.

"The perception that we are all wealthy is wrong," Friedman says. "In many cases, people have lost their savings; they are impoverished by this."

Following Madoff's plea, the financier was handcuffed and led out of the courthouse to the Metropolitan Correction Facility, where he will remain until his sentencing day June 16. Madoff, 70, could face up to 150 years in prison.

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