Bernie Madoff dies at 82 after spending 12 years in prison
Ex- Nasdaq chairman Bernie Madoff who masterminded the largest Ponzi scheme in history which duped thousands of investors out of an estimate $65 billion dies in prison at the age of 82.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons who confirmed Madoff’s death on Wednesday said he died at the Federal Medical Centre in Butner, North Carolina.
The prison bureau did not specify a cause of death, saying in a statement that it will be determined by a medical examiner.
Madoff’s death comes about 12 years into a 150-year prison sentence stemming from fraud charges that bilked thousands of investors out of an estimated $65 billion in promised returns on $20 billion invested over the years.
His victims ranged from boldface names such as Steven Spielberg, actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz and L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt to small-time investors who invested their pensions and life savings.
Bernie Madoff, who was born April 29, 1938, may have gotten his education in financial malfeasance at an early age. His parents, Ralph, a former plumber, and Sylvia ran a company called Gibraltar Securities out of their home in Queens, New York — until the Securities and Exchange Commission closed it over its reporting irregularities.
Madoff attended the University of Alabama for a year before he transferred to Hofstra College (now Hofstra University) on Long Island. In 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Alpern, and a year later he graduated with a degree in political science and enrolled in Brooklyn Law School.
Madoff dropped out to law school follow in his parents’ footsteps and dip his toe into the world of finance. With a $50,000 loan from his in-laws and $5,000 saved up from working as a lifeguard, he launched Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. He was 22 years old.
NBC News reported that last year, Madoff’s lawyer filed a motion begging the court for forgiveness in the form of an early release, reporting that his client was terminally ill with kidney disease. He was reported to have suffered a heart attack in prison six years earlier.
“He’s terminally ill? I’m terminally broke,” Gregg Felson, one of Madoff’s victims, told The Washington Post at the time of the filing. “He deserves no leniency whatsoever.”
His son Mark killed himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. His other son, Andrew, died of cancer in 2014.
Mr. Madoff is survived by his wife, Ruth Madoff, who maintained she was unaware of the scheme and was never charged. Prosecutors let her keep $2.5m from the $825m fortune the couple once possessed.