The United States (plaintiff) charged Bernard Madoff (defendant) with a number of financial crimes stemming from his orchestration of a decades-long multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme, which resulted in estimated losses of $13 billion to $65 billion. Madoff’s crimes affected individuals, charities, pension funds, and other institutional clients. A jury convicted Madoff. Prior to sentencing, individuals and entities defrauded by the scheme submitted letters and emails to the sentencing judge detailing the fraud’s effect on their lives and businesses. In the submissions, Madoff’s victims described how they based important life decisions involving retirement, medical care, and college tuition on Madoff’s fraudulent account statements. During sentencing proceedings, Madoff highlighted what he believed to be mitigating factors and argued for a lesser sentence because he had turned himself in, confessed to his crimes, and consented to the entry of a $170 billion forfeiture order.