Bernie Madoff, the mastermind of the biggest investment fraud in US history has died aged 82 at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina from natural causes.
Madoff was a Manhattan investment adviser who promised large returns to his famous clients but defrauded them of more than $19 billion in history’s largest Ponzi scheme.
Among his victims were director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel.
Investigators said Madoff defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries over four decades which earned him a 150-year sentence.
Judge Denny Chin who sentenced Madoff in 2008 said his crimes were “extraordinarily evil” and devastated the lives of his victims, leading to suicides, bankruptcies, and home losses.
Madoff was treated for terminal kidney disease while in detention and his request for compassionate release from prison was rejected last June.
“You know there hasn’t been a day in prison that I haven’t felt the guilt for the pain I caused on the victims and for my family,” said Madoff last year.
Bernard Lawrence Madoff was born on April 29, 1938, to Ralph Madoff and Sylvia Muntne and grew up in the middle-class Jewish neighborhood of Laurelton, in the New York borough of Queens.
Madoff’s sons Mark and Andrew have both died in 2010 and 2014 while his wife Ruth has cut off all communications with him for more than a decade.
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