Ponzi Crook Bernie Madoff Dies In Prison After Laying Waste The Lives of Thousands

0
704
Bernie Madoff - Mario Tama - Getty Images

The mastermind of the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history Bernard Madoff or Bernie as he was better known has died at the age of 82

He scammed thousands upon thousands of clients of as much as $65 billion.

Madoff died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, where he was serving a 150-year sentence and where treatment for his terminal kidney disease took place.

He pleaded guilty in 2009 to a scheme that investigators said started in the early 1970s and defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries over four decades by the time Madoff was busted on Dec. 11, 2008 — after his two sons turned him in.

Victims included the famous — director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel — and ordinary investors, like Burt Ross, who lost $5 million in the scheme.

Last June, a judge denied a request for compassionate release, saying Madoff committed “one of the most egregious financial crimes of all time,” and that “many people are still suffering.”

For more than 50 years, Bernie Madoff was a renowned Wall Street banker, a big money manager who founded his own firm at age 22 and became nonexecutive chairman of the Nasdaq in 1990.

Madoff’s life however, came crashing to earth in 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis.

He pleaded guilty in 2009 to a scheme that investigators said started in the early 1970s and defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries over four decades by the time Madoff was busted on December 11th, 2008

On March 12th, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal crimes and admitted to operating the largest private Ponzi scheme in history. He was sentenced three months later to the maximum sentence: 150 years in prison with restitution of $170 billion.

In court, he insisted that it was all his idea — that his family knew nothing — even though his wife, Ruth, had once kept the books, his sons were senior officers, and his younger brother, Peter, was chief compliance officer.

JPMorgan Chase, Madoff’s primary bank, paid $2.6 billion to the U.S. government and Madoff victims in 2014 to settle allegations that it did not maintain adequate controls. After Chase instituted some unspecified reforms, prosecutors dropped charges against the bank.