Bernard Madoff, who was convicted for running the largest known Ponzi scheme in history, died on Wednesday in federal prison where he was serving a 150-year sentence, the Bureau of Prisons said. He was 82.
Suffering from kidney failure, hypertension and heart problems, Madoff died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., apparently from natural causes, the person said. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.
Last year, Madoff’s lawyers filed court papers to try to get the 82-year-old released from prison due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The request was denied.
Madoff’s epic $65-billion Ponzi scheme, unprecedented in size and global reach, wrought devastation upon deep-pocketed institutions, scores of charities and thousands of investors around the world as the financial system convulsed in crisis in 2008.
His long-running fraud easily dwarfed all previous scams, including that of Charles Ponzi himself a century ago. Its stunning revelation exposed deep flaws in the federal government’s ability to police Wall Street, deepening investor mistrust and prompting a major overhaul of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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