Bernie Madoff, the man who taught the world the definition of a Ponzi scheme, has died in federal prison of natural causes, the AP reports. Madoff was 82 years old when he died, once again proving the old adage that only the good die young. Madoff was serving a 150-year sentence at the Butner Federal Correction Complex in North Carolina after he was convicted for defrauding his clients out of more than $19 billion, posing as an investment advisor. Madoff has been in prison since 2009 and according to Bloomberg, requested “compassionate early release” in February of 2020 “citing end stage kidney disease.”
Madoff’s client list which included every kind of rich and famous person imaginable reads like the VIP list at Nobu. Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, former Mets owner Fred Wilpon, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Elie Wiesel, John Malkovich, and most recently discovered, Rue McClanahan. Madoff was also to pry money away from New York University and a charitable organization headed by Stephen Spielberg.
When the scam fell apart during the 2008 market crash, Madoff confessed what he’d done to his sons who turned him over to the FBI. At trial, Madoff pled guilty to “fraud, money laundering, perjury, and theft,” crimes that he described going back as far as the 1990s.
Madoff leaves behind his ex-wife Ruth, who divorced him while he was in prison, and their six grandchildren.