Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty on Thursday to the largest financial services fraud in U.S. history, admitting to 11 criminal charges.
“I am actually grateful for this opportunity to publicly comment about my crimes, for which I am deeply sorry and ashamed,” he told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, according to the Associated Press.
He said he began the fraud in the early 1990s and thought it would be short.
“As the years went by, I realized my risk, and this day would inevitably come,” he said. “I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for my crimes.”
The crimes admitted to include securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, making false statements, perjury, false filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission and theft from an employee benefit plan.
Prosecutors estimate Madoff’s fraud drew in as much as $65 billion since the late 1980s until he was arrested in December of last year.
The crimes carry maximum terms of up to 150 years imprisonment.
Judge Denny Chin is expected to rule later today if Madoff will be immediately jailed or until a future sentencing date.