According to the Bureau of Prisons, Bernie Madoff, who was convicted of running the largest known Ponzi scheme in history, died on Wednesday in federal prison where he was serving a 150-year sentence. He was 82 years old.
Bernie Madoff, who had chronic kidney failure and several other medical issues, died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, of natural causes, according to an unnamed source who spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.
He was imprisoned after being sentenced in June 2009 for orchestrating a $64.8 billion fraud.
Bernie Madoff’s lawyers filed court papers last year to try to get him released from prison during the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming he had end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions. The request was turned down.
Bernie Madoff admitted to defrauding thousands of clients out of billions of dollars in investments over a long period of time.
He betrayed actors Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, and John Malkovich, as well as baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and a charity affiliated with director Steven Spielberg.
Longtime Bernie Madoff clients, the New York Mets, struggled for years to field a competitive baseball team due to losses.
“We mistook him for God. We put everything in his capable hands “Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel stated in 2009 that his foundation had lost $15.2 million.
Some victims had everything taken from them. Many came from the Jewish community, where Madoff was a prominent philanthropist.
Madoff’s crimes were revealed to authorities by his two sons, who were not involved in the scheme, in 2008.
The fraud exposed holes at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which through incompetence or neglect botched a half-dozen examinations.
“There were several times that I met with the SEC and thought, ‘They got me,'” Bernie Madoff told lawyers in a prison interview, according to ABC News.
Bernie Madoff was once the Nasdaq’s largest market-maker and served as its non-executive chairman.
His brokerage firm was housed in the Lipstick Building, a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper.
Employees said they felt like they were a part of Madoff’s family. They had no idea he was committing fraud on a different floor. Only a select few trusted individuals did.
A court-appointed trustee has recovered more than $13 billion of the estimated $17.5 billion invested in Madoff’s business by investors. At the time of Madoff’s arrest, fake account statements were telling clients that they had $60 billion in holdings.
Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to securities fraud and other charges in March 2009, saying he was “deeply sorry and ashamed.”
After several months of house arrest in his $7 million Manhattan penthouse apartment, he was led away in handcuffs to scattered applause from the courtroom’s angry investors.
“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.”
Judge Denny Chin of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia showed no mercy in sentencing Madoff to the maximum sentence of 150 years in prison.
Both of Madoff’s sons died in 2010, Andrew from cancer at the age of 48 and Mark from suicide at the age of 46. Ruth Madoff, Madoff’s wife, is a swindler.
Related news from other media:
Fox News: Mastermind of vast Ponzi scheme, dies in federal prison at age 82
Bernie Madoff, the infamous architect of the largest investment fraud in US history, died at the age of 82.
Bernie Madoff was serving a 150-year sentence at a federal medical care facility in Butner, North Carolina, where his attorney said he was being treated for terminal kidney failure. Last year, Madoff’s attorney requested that the 82-year-old be released during the coronavirus pandemic.
His death is believed to have been caused by natural causes, according to a spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nick Biase, who spoke to FOX Business.
Bernie Madoff, a Wall Street titan for decades, stunned the world when he pleaded guilty in 2009 to running a massive Ponzi scheme that prosecutors claimed cheated thousands of people out of their life savings. The scheme began in the early 1970s and had defrauded up to 37,000 people in 136 countries out of up to $65 billion by the time Madoff was arrested in December 2008. (More detail)
NY Post: Bernie Madoff, infamous Ponzi schemer, dead at 82
In 2017, The Post tracked her down in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, where she was living in virtual exile in a 989-square-foot rental apartment.
Public outrage against Bernie Madoff led to angry protests outside the Manhattan federal courthouse where he was prosecuted and the Upper East Side apartment building where he lived in a duplex penthouse.
Ahead of one trip to the court, during which he wore a bulletproof vest under his jacket, Madoff was confronted by a mob that had to be held back by metal barricades — as well as an enraged financial trader who held up a signing that said: “Bernie, it’s not too late to do the right thing: JUMP!”
A Queens native, Bernie Madoff founded his eponymous financial firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, in 1960 and began as a “market maker” who accepted buy and sell orders from brokerage houses.
Instead of charging a commission, Bernie Madoff pocketed the 12½-cent spread between the bidding and asking prices, and raked in massive profits by paying brokerages a few cents per trade to provide him with a huge volume of orders.
His success led him to be named chairman of the NASDAQ three times and he also launched a hedge fund that he used to carry out his Ponzi scheme. (More detail)