Marc Dreier, the once high-flying lawyer with hundreds of employees and celebrity friends, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his $700 million scam to "issue and sell fictitious promissory notes purportedly issued by companies in the United States and Canada." He pleaded guilty to duping investors out of $400 million in May and said in a letter to the judge, prior to his sentencing, "I have lost all my friends. I have lost my law firm, my law license and all that I ever owned. I have seen my family suffer the unimaginable. I have lost my past and my future. I have lost everything a man can lose. And now I will lose my freedom as well, and rightly so."

Judge Jed Rakoff explained that he did not take the federal prosecutor's recommendation of 145 years in prison—just 5 years less than Bernard Madoff received—because the scale of Dreier's scheme was much smaller: "Mr. Dreier is not going to get much sympathy from this court, but he is not Mr. Madoff from any analysis, and that’s why I can’t understand why the government is asking for 145 years." He added, "Mr. Dreier’s crimes, despicable though they may be, pale in comparison to Mr. Madoff’s. But one must still be appalled [by them]. This is a huge fraud by any standards." Dreier's lawyer had been asking for 12 1/2 years for his 59-year-old client.

Dreier allegedly used the money to subsidize his law firm, pay off some other investors, and fund his art collection. Dreier apologized yesterday, “All I can do is express my shame and remorse. I’m sorry, deeply sorry, for the harm and sadness I’ve caused to so many people."