NEW YORK – Bernard Madoff was sentenced Monday to 150 years in prison after apologizing to victims for a multibillion-dollar fraud scheme that the judge called “extraordinarily evil.”

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin handed down the maximum allowable sentence in a New York courthouse packed with his victims and the press.

Defense attorneys had sought 12 years, while prosecutors wanted the maximum. The federal probation department had recommended 50 years.

Chin called the fraud “extraordinarily evil” and noted that it spanned more than 20 years. He said “the breach of trust was massive.”

Now – knowing the way America punishes white collar criminals (those who can’t weave a basket out of weeds and old newspapers, anyway) he’ll probably be eligible for parole in about 45 minutes.