NEW YORK (AP) – Financier Bernie Madoff, who pleaded guilty to plotting the Ponzi scheme, has died in federal prison early Wednesday, an acquaintance said. He was 82 years old.
Madoff died at Federal Medical Center in Batner, North Carolina, for obvious natural causes, the man said. The person was not authorized to speak in public; he spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Last year, Madoff’s lawyers filed a lawsuit seeking his release from prison for a coronavirus outbreak, saying he suffered from end-stage kidney disease or other chronic medical conditions. The request was denied.
Madoff has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers of billions of dollars in investments over decades.
The court-appointed trustee recovered more than $ 13 billion from the $ 17.5 billion invested by investors in Madoff’s business. At the time of Madoff’s arrest, the fake accounts told customers they had $ 60 billion worth of shares.
For decades, Madoff enjoyed the role of a self-made financial guru whose touch of Midas was against market fluctuations. Former President of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, he involved a legion of investment clients, from Florida retirees to celebrities such as filmmaker Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, and Sandy Kufax of the Hall of Fame.
But his investment consulting business was unveiled in 2008 as a multi-billion ponzi scheme that wiped out people’s wealth, destroying charities and foundations. He hated it so much that he had to wear a bulletproof vest in court.
In March 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to other charges of securities fraud, saying he was “deeply saddened and ashamed.”
After living under house arrest in his Manhattan penthouse for several months for several months, he was taken to jail in handcuffs to the applause of angry investors in the courtroom.
“He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the middle. He had no values, ”Tom Fitzmavris, a former investor, told the judge during the sentencing. “He deceived his victims with their money so that he and his wife could live a luxurious life that is beyond faith.”
US District Judge Danny Chin showed no mercy, sentencing Madoff to a maximum of 150 years in prison.
“The message here is that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extremely vicious. Such irresponsible manipulation of the system is not just a bloodless financial crime that takes place simply on paper, but instead is a shocking human sacrifice,” Chin said.
The Madoffs also dealt a big financial blow. In June 2009, a judge ordered the confiscation of $ 171 billion, depriving Madoff of all of his assets, including real estate and investments, և $ 80 million, which his wife, Ruth, claimed was his. The order left him with $ 2.5 million.
The scandal also caused personal damage to the family. One of his sons, Mark, killed himself in 2010 on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. And Madoff’s brother, Peter, who helped run the business, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2012, despite allegations that he was in the dark about his brother’s atrocities.
Madoff’s other son, Andrew, has died of cancer at the age of 48. Ruth is still alive.
Madoff was sent to life in the Batner Federal Correctional Facility, about 45 miles northwest of Raleigh. The Federal Prison website listed its probable release date as November 11, 2139.
Madoff was born in 1938 in the lower Jewish district of Queens. The story of the rise of his reputation became a legend in the financial world. As he traveled with Peter to Wall Street in 1960 for a few thousand dollars, he was rescued from installing water cannons to work as a rescuer.
“They were two struggling children from Queens. “They worked hard,” said Thomas Morling, who worked closely with the Madoff brothers to build and operate computers in the mid-1980s that made their company a credible leader in the tax business.
“When Peter or Bernie said something they were going to do, they were talking about it,” Morling said in a 2008 interview.
In the 1980s, Bernard L. Madoff invested in three floors of a high-rise building in central Manhattan. There he ran a lawful business with his nephew and later two sons as intermediaries between buyers and stock sellers.
Madoff raised his profile, using his experience to help launch the Nasdaq, the first electronic stock exchange, to become so respected that he advised the Securities and Exchange Commission on the system. But what the SEC never knew was that behind the scenes, in a separate office behind closed doors, Madoff was secretly spinning a phantom fortune network, using cash from new investors to return old ones.
Authorities say at least $ 13 billion has been invested in Madoff over the years. IBM’s old computer was cutting monthly announcements that showed stable double-digit profitability, even during market downturns. At the end of 2008, announcements stated that investor accounts amounted to $ 65 billion.
Ugly truth. No securities have ever been bought or sold. Madoff Chief Financial Officer Frank DiPascali pleaded guilty in 2009 to allegations that the details of the trades were “all false.”
His clients, many Jews such as Madoff և Jewish charities, said they were unaware. Among them was Nobel Peace Prize laureate Eli Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, who recalled meeting Madoff years ago at a luncheon where they talked about history, education, and Jewish philosophy, not money.
“Madoff made a very good impression,” Wiesel said of the 2009 scandal. During the panel discussion. Wiesel confessed that he bought “the myth he created around himself that everything was so special, so special that it had to be kept secret.”
Like many of his clients, Madoff and his wife enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle. They owned a $ 7 million Manhattan apartment, a $ 11 million mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, and a $ 4 million house on the edge of Long Island. In the south of France, there was a house, a private plane, a yacht.
It all came crashing down in the winter of 2008 with a dramatic confession on Madoff’s 12th floor upstairs East Side. At the meeting with his sons, he assured that his business “is just one big lie”.
After the meeting, the family’s lawyer contacted regulators, who alerted federal prosecutors to the FBI. Madoff was in a robe when two FBI agents came to his door unnoticed on a December morning. He invited them in, then confessed after asking “is there an innocent explanation?” The criminal case states.
Madoff answered. “There is no innocent explanation.”
Because he had it from the beginning, Madoff insisted that he work alone, which the FBI never believed. As agents searched for evidence of wider conspiracy, DiPascali was developed as a collaborator, the scandal turned Madoff into a pariah, wiped out his fortune, wiped out charity, and apparently led some investors to commit suicide.
A trustee was appointed to recover the funds, sometimes judging the other large hedge fund investors who came forward and distributing the proceeds to the victims. The search for Madoff’s assets “found a labyrinth of interconnected international funds, institutions of subjects of almost unparalleled complexity and breadth,” said trustee Irving Picard in 2009. In the report:
The report states that the trustee “found” assets և businesses in 11 locations. Great Britain, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Ibraltar, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas. More than 15,400 lawsuits have been filed against Madoff.
Former clients angry at Madoff’s verdict in June 2009 demanded a maximum sentence. Madoff himself spoke monotonously for about 10 minutes. At various times he referred to his monumental falsification as a “problem”, a “mistake of judgment” or a “tragic mistake”.
He claimed that he and his wife had been tortured, saying that he “cries himself every night to sleep, knowing all the pain and suffering I have brought.”
“It’s also something I live with,” he said.
After that, Ruth Madoff, the target of people who have often been despised since her husband’s arrest, broke her silence the same day by announcing that she had also been misled by a high school sweetheart.
“I am ashamed and ashamed,” he said. “Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The person who committed this horrific fraud is not the person I have known for years. ”
Dozens of Madoff’s employees and colleagues have been charged in the federal case. The five appeared in court in late 2013 to watch DiPascalli act as a star witness for the government.
DiPascali told the jury how Madoff called him to his office shortly before the scheme was unveiled.
“He was looking out the window all day,” DiPascalli testified. “He turned to me and cried, ‘I’m at the end of my rope. … You do not understand: The whole divine thing is deception. ”
Eventually, that fraud brought new meaning to the Ponzi scheme, called Charles Ponzi, who was convicted of mail fraud after paying only $ 10 million to thousands of people between 1919 and 1920.
“Charles Ponzi is now in jail,” said Anthony Sabino, a lawyer who specializes in white-collar criminal defense. “Now these are Madoff schemes.”