Convicted Ponzi scheme architect Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to running the largest Ponzi scheme in history, has died at the age of 82.

He had been held at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, after being sentenced in June 2009 to a 150-year term for engineering a fraud estimated as high as $64.8 billion.

Madoff’s brother Peter also served a 10-year prison sentence for his involvement in the scheme. He was sentenced in 2012.

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According to The Washington Post, his death, at a federal prison medical facility, and was announced by a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Kristie Breshears.

Breshears did not provide details about the cause of death but said that Madoff had tested negative for covid-19.

CNN reported that in February 2020, he had petitioned the courts for an early release from prison, stating that he had terminal kidney failure and a life expectancy of less than 18 months.

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However, the US Attorney’s office for the southern district of New York said Madoff’s crime was “unprecedented in scope and magnitude” and is “sufficient reason” to deny Madoff’s request.

During his trial in 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies, admitting that he had turned his wealth management business into the world’s largest Ponzi scheme, benefiting himself, his family and select members of his inner circle.

In his Ponzi scheme, Madoff will collect money from newer investors and use it to pay earlier investors.

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Madoff’s brother Peter also served a 10-year prison sentence for his involvement in the scheme. He was sentenced in 2012.

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