Madoff's Sentencing Today!!! NEW YORK - U.S. District Judge Denny Chin says the federal probation department recommends that Bernard Madoff get 50 years in prison for a multibillion-dollar fraud scheme. Madoff's lawyer has asked a judge to give his 71-year-old client 12 years behind bars. Prosecutors planned to seek a 150-year prison term Monday. The former Nasdaq chairman was arrested late last year after confessing to his sons that his secretive investment advisory business was a "big lie." He pleaded guilty to securities fraud and other charges in March and has been jailed ever since. .