Home News Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in jail, AP supply says
News - April 14, 2021

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in jail, AP supply says



NEW YORK (AP) — Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded responsible to orchestrating a large Ponzi scheme, died in a federal jail early Wednesday, an individual aware of the matter informed The Related Press.

Madoff died on the Federal Medical Middle in Butner, North Carolina, apparently from pure causes, the individual mentioned. The individual was not approved to talk publicly and spoke to the AP on the situation of anonymity.

Final yr, Madoff’s attorneys filed court docket papers to attempt to get the 82-year-old launched from jail within the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he had suffered from end-stage renal illness and different power medical circumstances. The request was denied.

Madoff admitted swindling hundreds of shoppers out of billions of {dollars} in investments over many years.

A court-appointed trustee has recovered greater than $13 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion that traders put into Madoff’s enterprise. On the time of Madoff’s arrest, faux account statements have been telling shoppers they’d holdings price $60 billion.

For many years, Madoff loved a picture as a self-made monetary guru whose Midas contact defied market fluctuations. A former chairman of the Nasdaq inventory market, he attracted a loyal legion of funding shoppers — from Florida retirees to celebrities similar to famed movie director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Corridor of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax.

However his funding advisory enterprise was uncovered in 2008 as a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that worn out folks’s fortunes and ruined charities and foundations. He grew to become so hated he needed to put on a bulletproof vest to court docket.

Madoff pleaded responsible in March 2009 to securities fraud and different prices, saying he was “deeply sorry and ashamed.”

After a number of months residing beneath home arrest at his $7 million Manhattan penthouse residence, he was led off to jail in handcuffs to scattered applause from offended traders within the courtroom.

“He stole from the wealthy. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values,” former investor Tom Fitzmaurice informed the choose on the sentencing. “He cheated his victims out of their cash so he and his spouse … might dwell a lifetime of luxurious past perception.”

U.S. District Decide Denny Chin confirmed no mercy, sentencing Madoff to the utmost 150 years in jail.

“Right here, the message have to be despatched that Mr. Madoff’s crimes have been terribly evil and that this type of irresponsible manipulation of the system just isn’t merely a cold monetary crime that takes place simply on paper, however it’s as an alternative … one which takes a staggering human toll,” Chin mentioned.

The Madoffs additionally took a extreme monetary hit: A choose issued a $171 billion forfeiture order in June 2009 stripping Madoff of all his private property, together with actual property, investments, and $80 million in belongings his spouse, Ruth, had claimed have been hers. The order left her with $2.5 million.

The scandal additionally exacted a private toll on the household: Certainly one of his sons, Mark, killed himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest in 2010. And Madoff’s brother, Peter, who helped run the enterprise, was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2012, regardless of claims he was at nighttime about his brother’s misdeeds.

Madoff’s different son, Andrew, died from most cancers at age 48. Ruth continues to be residing.

Madoff was despatched to do what amounted to a life sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Advanced, about 45 miles northwest of Raleigh, N.C. A federal jail web site listed his possible launch date as Nov. 11, 2139.

Madoff was born in 1938 in a lower-middle-class Jewish neighborhood in Queens. Within the monetary world, the story of his rise to prominence — how he left for Wall Avenue with Peter in 1960 with just a few thousand {dollars} saved from working as a lifeguard and putting in sprinklers — grew to become legend.

“They have been two struggling youngsters from Queens. They labored arduous,” mentioned Thomas Morling, who labored intently with the Madoff brothers within the mid-Eighties establishing and operating computer systems that made their agency a trusted chief in off-floor buying and selling.

“When Peter or Bernie mentioned one thing that they have been going to do, their phrase was their bond,” Morling mentioned in a 2008 interview.

Within the Eighties, Bernard L. Madoff Funding Securities occupied three flooring of a midtown Manhattan high-rise. There, together with his brother and later two sons, he ran a authentic enterprise as middlemen between the patrons and sellers of inventory.

Madoff raised his profile through the use of the experience to assist launch Nasdaq, the primary digital inventory change, and have become so revered that he suggested the Securities and Alternate Fee on the system. However what the SEC by no means came upon was that behind the scenes, in a separate workplace saved beneath lock and key, Madoff was secretly spinning an online of phantom wealth through the use of money from new traders to pay returns to previous ones.

Authorities say that over time, at the very least $13 billion was invested with Madoff. An previous IBM laptop cranked out month-to-month statements exhibiting regular double-digit returns, even throughout market downturns. As of late 2008, the statements claimed investor accounts totaled $65 billion.

The ugly reality: No securities have been ever purchased or offered. Madoff’s chief monetary officer, Frank DiPascali, mentioned in a responsible plea in 2009 that the statements detailing trades have been “all faux.”

His shoppers, many Jews like Madoff and Jewish charities, mentioned they didn’t know. Amongst them was Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who recalled assembly Madoff years earlier at a dinner the place they talked about historical past, schooling and Jewish philosophy — not cash.

Madoff “made an excellent impression,” Wiesel mentioned throughout a 2009 panel dialogue on the scandal. Wiesel admitted that he purchased into “a delusion that he created round him that the whole lot was so particular, so distinctive, that it needed to be secret.”

Like lots of his shoppers, Madoff and his spouse loved a lavish way of life. They’d a $7 million Manhattan residence, an $11 million property in Palm Seaside, Florida and a $4 million residence on the tip of Lengthy Island. There was yet one more residence within the south of France, personal jets and a yacht.

All of it got here crashing down within the winter of 2008 with a dramatic confession at Madoff’s Twelfth-floor residence on the Higher East Facet. In a gathering together with his sons, he confided that his enterprise was “all only one large lie.”

After the assembly, a lawyer for the household contacted regulators, who alerted the federal prosecutors and the FBI. Madoff was in a bathrobe when two FBI brokers arrived at his door unannounced on a December morning. He invited them in, then confessed after being requested “if there’s an harmless rationalization,” a felony grievance mentioned.

Madoff responded: “There is no such thing as a harmless rationalization.”

As he had from the beginning, Madoff insisted in his plea that he acted alone — one thing the FBI by no means believed. As brokers scoured information for proof of a broader conspiracy and cultivated DiPascali as a cooperator, the scandal turned Madoff right into a pariah, evaporated life fortunes, worn out charities and apparently pushed some traders to commit suicide.

A trustee was appointed to get better funds — typically by suing hedge funds and different giant traders who got here out forward — and divvying up these proceeds to victims. The seek for Madoff’s belongings “has unearthed a labyrinth of interrelated worldwide funds, establishments and entities of just about unparalleled complexity and breadth,” the trustee, Irving Picard, mentioned in a 2009 report.

The report mentioned the trustee has situated belongings and companies “of curiosity” in 11 locations: Nice Britain, Eire, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Gibraltar, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas. Greater than 15,400 claims in opposition to Madoff have been filed.

At Madoff’s sentencing in June 2009, wrathful former shoppers stood to demand the utmost punishment. Madoff himself spoke in a monotone for about 10 minutes. At varied instances, he referred to his monumental fraud as a “downside,” “an error of judgment” and “a tragic mistake.”

He claimed he and his spouse have been tormented, saying she “cries herself to sleep each evening, realizing all of the ache and struggling I’ve induced.”

“That’s one thing I dwell with, as effectively,” he mentioned.

Afterward, Ruth Madoff — usually a goal of victims’ scorn since her husband’s arrest — broke her silence that very same day by issuing an announcement claiming that she, too, had been misled by her highschool sweetheart.

“I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” she mentioned. “Like everybody else, I really feel betrayed and confused. The person who dedicated this horrible fraud just isn’t the person whom I’ve identified for all these years.”

A few dozen Madoff staff and associates have been charged within the federal case. 5 went on trial in late 2013 and watched DiPascali take the witness stand as the federal government’s star witness.

DiPascali recounted for jurors how simply earlier than the scheme was uncovered, Madoff known as him into his workplace.

“He’d been staring out the window the all day,” DiPascali testified. “He turned to me and he mentioned, crying, ‘I’m on the finish of my rope. … Don’t you get it? The entire goddamn factor is a fraud.’”

In the long run, that fraud introduced contemporary that means to “Ponzi scheme,” named after Charles Ponzi, who was convicted of mail fraud after bilking hundreds of individuals out of a mere $10 million between 1919 and 1920.

“Charles Ponzi is now a footnote,” mentioned Anthony Sabino, a protection lawyer specializing in white-collar felony protection. “They’re now Madoff schemes.”



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