So Bernie Madoff hosed investors out of as much as $65B. That's sixty-five billion dollars. He did it over more than twenty years, and his marriage pre-dates that time. In fact, he and Ruth have been married over fifty years now, which means everything he's done successfully in life is half hers. What I want to know is why her liability, at least financially, is any different? But let's revisit that.
First is the question of jail time. I honestly have no idea if she should be in jail, too. We may never know, because one thing you can respect Madoff for is that he's trying to take the entire fall for this thing himself. That's where the respect ends, obviously, but hey, it's something. But we don't know if she knew anything. If not, fine. It's definitely possible that she didn't. People in her world can make that kind of money legitimately over that kind of time. I get that.
But here's my rub. She and him built a life together. It sounds like she wasn't a "working" wife, but who cares? If they were to divorce (before all this happened), she'd have gotten a big old settlement that kept her insanely wealthy forever. Why? Because they built it together. In many states, it's half. And with good reason. I'm not going to question that. But now that we know he robbed all those people of more money than he (and her) are currently worth, why is she entitled to anything? To me, if your joint fortune is built together illegally, even if one party has no idea, well, that party with no idea is just another victim. Want part of the pie? Get in line with everyone else who got robbed and take your fair share just like they will. I'm pretty sure that fair share isn't $69M. Unless, of course, it's proven that you DID know what was going on. Then go directly to jail, do not collect $200.