Bernie Madoff, infamous Ponzi schemer, has died

Bernard Madoff, whose name became synonymous with financial fraud, died while serving a 150-year sentence in Federal Prison. He was 82 years old.

Posted: Apr 14, 2021 12:33 PM


Bernard Madoff, whose name became synonymous with financial fraud, died while serving a 150-year sentence in Federal Prison. He was 82 years old.

His death Wednesday at the Federal Medical Center in the prison in Butner, North Carolina, was confirmed by the US Bureau of Prisons. A cause of death was not released.

In February 2020, he 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. But 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.

Madoff was the mastermind behind a $20 billion Ponzi scheme -- the largest financial fraud in history.

Judge Denny Chin, who originally had imposed the sentence of 150 years, denied his request for release, calling his crime "one of the most egregious financial crimes of our time," and one that continued to take "a staggering human toll."

"When I sentenced Mr. Madoff in 2009, it was fully my intent that he live out the rest of his life in prison," the Chin wrote in his order last June. "The symbolism of a 150-year sentence was important: the public trust had been eroded by Mr. Madoff's ability to manipulate the system for so many years, he deserved to be punished according to his moral culpability."

One of the few kind words about Madoff Wednesday came from Brandon Sample, one of his attorneys.

"Bernie, up until his death, lived with guilt and remorse for his crimes," Sample said. "Although the crimes Bernie was convicted of have come to define who he was -- he was also a father and a husband. He was soft spoken and an intellectual. Bernie was by no means perfect. But no man is."

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

He served as chairman of the Nasdaq for several years in the 1990s and amassed beach houses, boats and a Manhattan penthouse. But Madoff was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty to eleven felony charges in 2009. He had been using money from new investors to pay back earlier investors. He supposedly had a total of $65 billion under management, but two thirds of that money was a figment of Bernie Madoff's imagination. The rest was his investors' principle.

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

He told CNNMoney in a 2013 interview that it all started in 1987, but he later said the scheme began in 1992. Madoff's former account manager, Frank DiPascali, Jr., said in court testimony that financial misdeeds had been going on "for as long as I remember." He started working at the firm in 1975.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee charged with recovering assets stolen by Madoff, together with the Department of Justice, had recovered $14.4 billion as of March of this year, distributing the vast majority to Madoff victims. In addition, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation has provided $600 million in insurance to victims.

Madoff was born April 29, 1938 in New York City's borough of Queens, where he met his wife Ruth in high school. They had two sons, both of whom worked for their father's firm. Mark killed himself in 2010.

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

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 730969

Reported Deaths: 13434
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1000031743
Lake53771970
Allen40668678
St. Joseph35733552
Hamilton35629408
Elkhart28577442
Tippecanoe22402219
Vanderburgh22310397
Porter18776308
Johnson17970379
Hendricks17244315
Clark12985191
Madison12673339
Vigo12449247
LaPorte11928211
Monroe11893170
Delaware10696186
Howard9924216
Kosciusko9410117
Hancock8284141
Bartholomew8070156
Warrick7784155
Floyd7669178
Grant7060174
Wayne7051199
Boone6700101
Morgan6576139
Dubois6156117
Marshall6050111
Dearborn581378
Cass5808105
Henry5720103
Noble561384
Jackson501773
Shelby491996
Lawrence4546120
Harrison435872
Gibson435492
DeKalb428485
Clinton427453
Montgomery424189
Whitley396139
Huntington391980
Steuben387857
Miami381866
Knox371990
Jasper366047
Putnam360760
Wabash354179
Adams341354
Ripley339770
Jefferson330981
White314354
Daviess297399
Wells291581
Decatur285492
Fayette280762
Greene278985
Posey271533
LaGrange266770
Scott266354
Clay260247
Randolph240781
Washington240732
Spencer232131
Jennings230149
Starke216654
Fountain212346
Sullivan211942
Owen200256
Fulton195440
Jay195130
Carroll189320
Orange183654
Perry183037
Rush173425
Vermillion169143
Franklin168135
Tipton162845
Parke146316
Blackford134932
Pike134334
Pulaski116845
Newton107834
Brown102141
Crawford99814
Benton98614
Martin89115
Warren82115
Switzerland7918
Union71010
Ohio56811
Unassigned0416

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1085733

Reported Deaths: 19441
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1261201400
Cuyahoga1124072120
Hamilton801491206
Montgomery515591014
Summit47292946
Lucas42275788
Butler38396584
Stark32412907
Lorain25046481
Warren24313300
Mahoning21629588
Lake20725369
Clermont19803238
Delaware18537133
Licking16436212
Fairfield16230200
Trumbull16082468
Medina15309264
Greene15099244
Clark14017299
Wood13113189
Portage12890203
Allen11675232
Richland11382199
Miami10686217
Wayne8843211
Columbiana8816229
Muskingum8815133
Pickaway8582121
Marion8539135
Tuscarawas8487244
Erie7917154
Hancock6929127
Ross6858155
Ashtabula6830170
Geauga6697148
Scioto6417101
Belmont5920167
Union571048
Lawrence5560102
Jefferson5544151
Huron5439119
Darke5364123
Sandusky5359121
Seneca5290121
Athens520058
Washington5160109
Auglaize491984
Mercer480885
Shelby470093
Knox4495110
Madison436661
Putnam4287100
Fulton423969
Ashland423189
Defiance421097
Crawford3978107
Brown395057
Logan382376
Preble379898
Clinton372963
Ottawa367479
Highland355662
Williams340275
Champaign333458
Guernsey316253
Jackson312652
Perry295350
Morrow285639
Fayette282250
Hardin271464
Henry269366
Coshocton265357
Holmes2611101
Van Wert243763
Adams238552
Pike237734
Gallia235949
Wyandot231555
Hocking215462
Carroll191647
Paulding173340
Meigs144940
Noble133337
Monroe132342
Harrison108537
Morgan108523
Vinton83515
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Angola
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 45°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 43°
Decatur
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 42°
High pressure will pave the way to another mostly sunny and pleasant day.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events