(CN) - A federal judge on Monday sentenced Bernard Madoff's former director of operations to 10 years in prison and ordered him to forfeit $155 billion for his role in the multi-billion fraud scheme.
According to prosecutors Daniel Bonventre, 67, was instrumental to Madoff's Ponzi scheme, keeping the fraudulent records upon which it was based. The documents he kept, including the Madoff's firms ledger and financial statements, understated its liabilities by billions.
But in a statement before the court before he was sentenced, Bonventre said he was as used as those who fell prey to the scheme.
"He was a manipulator beyond manipulator," Bonventre said. "Bernard Madoff lied to me every day and I believed and trusted him."
But U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain was having none of it, calling the Bonventre a pampered and overcompensated employee who blinded himself to the truth.
"We all live among the smoldering ruins of literally thousands of lives, yours included," she said.
Bonventre is the first of five former Madoff employees who are scheduled to be sentenced this week.
"These are devastatingly serious crimes," Swain said. "Dreams and trusts were shattered. So many innocent lives were irreversible upended. This is the harm you, Mr. Bonventre, and your co-conspirators have wrought."
The judge order Bonventre to report to prison Feb. 9.