On Wednesday, the infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff died at the age of 82 in prison where he was serving a 150-year sentence.
His death was confirmed by the federal Bureau of Prisons, at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina.
AP reported that his death was due to natural causes. Madoff had suffered from terminal kidney disease and several other medical ailments. The late democrat would have turned 83 on April 29.
He was serving a 150-year sentence at the prison, where he had been treated for what his attorney called terminal kidney disease. His request for compassionate release from prison was denied in June.
Due to criminal charges of securities fraud Madoff was indicted in December of 2008 after his sons turned him in to the feds.
Two years later in 2010, Madoff’s son Mark Madoff, who worked as a ‘head trader’ at his father’s firm, hanged himself.
Bernie Madoff’s investment business turned out to be the largest Ponzi scheme in Wall Street’s history.
For decades, Madoff enjoyed an image as a self-made financial guru whose Midas touch defied market fluctuations. A former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, he attracted a devoted legion of investment clients — from Florida retirees to celebrities such as famed film director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax.
But his investment advisory business was exposed in 2008 as a Ponzi scheme that wiped out people’s fortunes and ruined charities and foundations. He became so hated he had to wear a bulletproof vest to court.
Over the years, court-appointed trustees laboring to unwind the scheme have recovered more than $14 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion that investors put into Madoff’s business. At the time of Madoff’s arrest, fake account statements were telling clients they had holdings worth $60 billion.
Madoff pleaded guilty in March 2009 to securities fraud and other charges, saying he was “deeply sorry and ashamed.”
After several months living under house arrest at his $7 million Manhattan penthouse apartment, he was led off to jail in handcuffs to scattered applause from angry investors in the courtroom.
“He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values,” former investor Tom Fitzmaurice told the judge at the sentencing. “He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife … could live a life of luxury beyond belief.”
Madoff’s attorney in recent years, Brandon Sample, said in a statement that the financier had “lived with guilt and remorse for his crimes” up until his death.
“Although the crimes Bernie was convicted of have come to define who he was—he was also a father and a husband. He was soft spoken and an intellectual. Bernie was by no means perfect. But no man is,” Sample said.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin sentenced Madoff to the maximum possible term.
“Here, the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil and that this kind of irresponsible manipulation of the system is not merely a bloodless financial crime that takes place just on paper, but it is instead … one that takes a staggering human toll,” Chin said.
A judge issued a forfeiture order in June 2009 stripping Madoff of all his personal property, including real estate, investments, and $80 million in assets his wife, Ruth, had claimed were hers. The order left her with $2.5 million.
“Over the years, court-appointed trustees laboring to unwind the scheme have recovered more than $14 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion that investors put into Madoff’s business. At the time of Madoff’s arrest, fake account statements were telling clients they had holdings worth $60 billion.” AP reported.
In 2019, Madoff asked President Trump to commute his sentence.
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