Bernie Madoff, Mastermind Of Biggest Investment Fraud In US History, Dies In Prison Aged 82
Bernie Madoff, who was imprisoned for orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme, has reportedly died aged 82.
Sources told Associated Press that Madoff passed away from natural causes at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina.
Madoff had sought an early release from prison in February 2020, claiming that he was dying from kidney disease, but his request was denied.
In 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to conning thousands of investors out of billions of dollars over a period of more than 30 years, from 1970 to 2008. At the time, he said he was ‘deeply sorry and ashamed’.
He was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his scheme, which investigators believe defrauded at least 37,000 people from 136 countries.
Some of his most famous victims include director Steven Spielberg, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel and actor Kevin Bacon.
As per AP, a trustee was appointed by the court to recover the money Madoff stole from investors. So far, approximately $13 billion of the $17.5 billion investors put into Madoff’s business has been recovered.
A former investor, Tom Fitzmaurice, told the judge at Madoff’s sentencing: ‘He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in-between. He had no values. He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife … could live a life of luxury beyond belief.’
Madoff is survived by his wife Ruth, and his grandchildren. He had two sons, Andrew and Mark. Mark killed himself in 2010 on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest.
Last year, the judge who originally sentenced Madoff in 2009, Denny Chin, denied early release, writing: ‘It was fully my intent that he live out the rest of his life in prison.’
Madoff had sought compassionate release, which is reserved for prisoners who are expected to die in less than 18 months, due to his suffering from kidney disease.
‘I also believe that Mr. Madoff was never truly remorseful and that he was only sorry that his life as he knew it was collapsing around him. Even at the end, he was trying to send more millions of his ill-gotten gains to family members, friends, and certain employees,’ Chin wrote at the time.
Chin said he had reviewed public statements made by Madoff, and found that they ‘show that he has never fully accepted responsibility for his actions and that he even faults his victims’.
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