Bernie Madoff, the creator of the biggest financial fraud in history, solved during the economic crisis in 2008, died in prison on Wednesday, US prisoners said. He was 82.
Madoff suffered from chronic kidney failure, and prison officials denied his request that he be allowed to return home last year to die.
The New Yorker was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009 for conducting a pyramid-style scheme that irradiated tens of thousands of people around the world and was valued at nearly $ 65 billion.
It has become an ugly symbol of the surplus on Wall Street and left a crippling human fee, with investors moving from rich to bankrupt overnight.
“We can confirm that Bernard Madoff died on April 14, 2021 at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Butner, North Carolina,” an employee of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in AF said by email.
The statement states that the cause of death must be determined by a doctor.
In February 2020, Madoff’s lawyer said the disgraced Wall Street financier was terminally ill with “kidney disease, among other serious medical conditions.”
“The prison bureau concluded in September 2019 that Madoff had less than 18 months to live due to the extreme nature of his kidney failure,” wrote lawyer Brandon Sample.
He demanded a compassionate release so that he could fix the fences with his grandchildren and die as a free man, but the request was rejected by the prison bureau.
The Washington Post then reported that Madoff needed a wheelchair and round-the-clock care.
“I have served for 11 years and, to be honest, I have experienced this,” Madoff told the newspaper in an interview.
“You know, there’s not a day in prison that I haven’t felt guilty about the pain I caused to the victims and my family,” he said.
In a city known for money and theater, the silver-haired doyen of Wall Street was a master of both, using his charm to drive billions out of his customers, who had little suspicion that he was a fraud.
Madoff was born on April 29, 1938, to a Jewish family in humble beginnings in Queens, New York.
He started as a lifeguard on Long Island before entering the stock market, eventually becoming chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange.
There, he was credited with helping revolutionize the trade from face-to-face, phone-to-computer trading, in seconds, not minutes, and ushering in an era of ever-increasing stakes and winnings.
But it was as a private money manager that he gained a reputation as a financial guru.
– Life of luxury –
The return of about 10 percent, with periodic jumps significantly higher, came so regularly that wealthy people, donations and supposedly expert banks were ordered to give him money between the 1970s and 2000s.
But in reality, he ran a pyramid of shells, or Ponzi, a scheme – where the capital of new customers was stolen to pay off existing customers and create the illusion of return until it collapsed.
He lived a luxurious life at all times, owning several mansions, a Manhattan apartment, yachts, and a private jet.
Madoff’s fraud was uncovered during the financial crisis in 2008, when it failed to meet growing demands from customers to withdraw their investments, and many lost their savings or could not retire.
Even his Manhattan offices were fake, and unskilled workers dumped fake statements and other documents, prosecutors said.
Faced with financial ruin, Madoff confessed to the fraud of 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 counts, including fraud, theft and perjury.
Among those who lost money in the scam were actor Kevin Bacon and the then owner of the New York Mets.
The US authorities have seized about $ 4 billion and, through the Madoff Victims Fund, will pay payments to more than 30,000 people around the world who have been deceived by their investments.
Madoff’s eldest son, Mark, committed suicide on the second anniversary of his arrest. In 2014, his younger son Andrew died of cancer, blaming the consequences of the scandal for the return of the disease.