Bernie Madoff, mastermind of the largest financial scam in history that unraveled during the 2008 economic crisis, died in jail on Wednesday, US prison officials said. PHOTO/ AFP
NEW YORK- SHIFTMEDIA- He was the mastermind of the largest financial scam in history.
Bernie Madoff died in a US prison aged 82 on Wednesday afp reported.
Madoff had been suffering from chronic kidney failure and prison chiefs had denied his request last year to be allowed to go home to die.
Bernie was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009 for running a pyramid-style scheme.
He was charged for conning tens of thousands of people around the world. His fortune was estimated to be worth almost $65 billion.
Between 1970 to 2000 scores of rich individuals and bank experts lined up to give him money.
He ran a shell pyramid, or Ponzi, scheme — where new clients’ capital was stolen to pay off existing clients and create the illusion of returns until it collapsed.
All the while he was living a life of luxury, owning several palatial homes, a Manhattan apartment, yachts and a private plane.
Madoff’s fraud was revealed during the financial crisis in 2008 when he was unable to satisfy growing client demands to withdraw their investments, and many lost their savings or were unable to retire.
Even his Manhattan offices were phony, with unqualified workers churning out fake statements and other paperwork, prosecutors said.
Faced with financial ruin, Madoff confessed the fraud to his two sons in December 2008. They turned him into law enforcement and he was arrested the next day. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including fraud, theft and perjury.
Those who lost money in the scam included actor Kevin Bacon and the then owner of the New York Mets.
US authorities have seized about $4 billion and through the Madoff Victim Fund will disburse payments to more than 30,000 people around the world who were cheated out of their investments.
Madoff’s eldest son Mark killed himself on the second anniversary of the arrest. In 2014, his younger son Andrew died from cancer, blaming the fallout from the scandal for the disease’s return.
“We can confirm Bernard Madoff passed away on April 14, 2021, at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Butner, North Carolina,” an official with the federal Bureau of Prisons told afp in an email.
In February 2020, Madoff’s lawyer said the disgraced Wall Street financier was terminally ill with “kidney disease, among other serious medical conditions.”
“The Bureau of Prisons concluded in September 2019 that Madoff has less than 18 months to live because of the terminal nature of his kidney failure,” attorney Brandon Sample wrote.
He asked for compassionate release so he could mend fences with his grandchildren and die a free man but the request was rejected by the prisons bureau.
Madoff was born on April 29, 1938, to Jewish parents, in humble beginnings in Queens, New York.
He started as a Long Island lifeguard before entering the stock market, eventually becoming chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange.