Bernie Madoff, infamous Ponzi scheme schemer, has died

Read CNN Business'  last interview with Madoff

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His death on Wednesday at Federal Medical Center in Butner Prison in North Carolina was confirmed by the US Bureau of Prisons. A cause of death has not been revealed.

In February 2020, he asked the courts for early release from prison, saying he suffered from end-stage kidney disease and a life expectancy of less than 18 months. But the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said Madoff’s crime was “unprecedented in scope and magnitude” and was “reason enough” to deny Madoff’s claim.

Judge Denny Chin, who originally handed down the 150-year sentence, rejected his request for release, calling his crime “one of the most egregious financial crimes of our time” and which continued to take “a staggering human toll. “.

“When I sentenced Mr. Madoff in 2009, I fully intended him to live the rest of his life in prison,” Chin wrote in his order last June. “The symbolism of a 150-year sentence was important: Public confidence had been eroded by Mr. Madoff’s ability to manipulate the system for so many years, he deserved to be punished based on his moral guilt. ”
One of the few kind words about Madoff on Wednesday came from Brandon Sample, one of his attorneys.

“Bernie, until his death, lived with guilt and remorse for his crimes,” Sample said. “Although the crimes of which Bernie was convicted came to define who he was – he was also a father and a husband. He was gentle and intellectual. Bernie was by no means perfect. But no man is. “

He has had a legendary career on Wall Street, delivering astronomical returns to his investors, including director Steven Spielberg, actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

He was president of the Nasdaq for several years in the 1990s and amassed Manhattan beach houses, boats, and a penthouse. But Madoff was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty to eleven counts in 2009. He had used new investor money to pay off previous investors. It was supposed to have a total of $ 65 billion under management, but two-thirds of that money was imagined by Bernie Madoff. The rest was the principle of its investors.

Madoff founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in 1960, but no one has been able to prove when Madoff started robbing investors.

He told CNNMoney in a 2013 interview that it all started in 1987, but later said the scheme started in 1992. Madoff’s former account manager Frank DiPascali, Jr., said during ‘testimony in court that financial mischief had lasted “for so long. as I remember. He started working for the company in 1975.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee responsible for recovering assets stolen by Madoff, with the Justice Department, had recovered $ 14.4 billion in March this year, of which $ 13.6 billion was returned to the victims of Madoff. In addition, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation provided $ 600 million in insurance to victims.

“The pain experienced by victims of Mr. Madoff’s fraud is not alleviated by his death, and our work on behalf of his victims is not over,” Picard said. “My legal team and I are committed to continuing to identify and recover Mr. Madoff’s stolen funds and return them to their rightful owners. “

Madoff was born on April 29, 1938 in the Queens neighborhood of New York City, where he met his wife Ruth in high school. They had two sons, both of whom worked for their father’s business. Mark Madoff, the eldest son, committed suicide in 2010.

Madoff’s brother Peter also served a 10-year prison sentence for his involvement in the scheme. He was sentenced in 2012 and released from prison in November 2019, on house arrest. His home confinement ended in August last year.

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