Dying Bernie Madoff plans to make a ‘personal plea’ to judge for early release from his 150-year prison sentence after being told he only has 18 months left to live
- Major fraudster was jailed for 150 years in 2009 after squandering $17.5billion
- He reportedly failed to show remorse for his crimes, according to prosecutors
- Madoff, 81, is currently confined to a wheelchair in Butner, North Carolina
One of the biggest fraudsters in US history plans to make a ‘personal plea’ for early release after medics said kidney disease had left him with less than 18 months to live.
Bernie Madoff was jailed for 150-years in 2009 after he squandered more than $17.5billion entrusted to him by investors.
He has reportedly failed to show remorse for his crimes in the decades-long scheme, but now plans to make a ‘dying’ appeal by telephone to Judge Denny Chin, who sentenced him, for mercy.
Madoff, 81, is currently confined to a wheelchair at the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. He also requested early release last year, allegedly to care for his wife Ruth in her old age.
Bernie Madoff, 81, pictured outside court in New York, has reportedly failed to show remorse for his crimes where he squandered more than $17.5billion from investors. He is currently confined to a wheelchair at federal prison in Butner, North Carolina
Vehicles are parked outside the medical center at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina, where Madoff is being held
Attorney Brandon Sample told judge Chin that Madoff should be allowed to contest claims by prosecutors that he has failed to show remorse.
He told Judge Chin, who is now in the federal appeals court but presides over the case, that he would benefit from ‘hearing directly from Mr Madoff about his acceptance of responsibility’.
‘Allowing Mr Madoff to give what is, in effect, a final dying, personal plea is imminently reasonable,’ he said.
‘Mr Madoff’s live, personal statement, could also help the Court in reaching its weighty decision whether to grant Mr Madoff compassionate release.’
However, prosecutors have filed papers opposing this request. ‘Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil,’ they said. ‘His sentence was appropriately long. It should not be reduced.’
Prosecutors opposed Bernard Madoff’s request to be freed from prison even if he is close to death from kidney failure. The convicted financier is show in a 2008 mug shot
As many as 500 of his victims have also written in to call for his early release to be denied, saying ‘one of history’s worst fraudsters’ should face the consequences of his crimes.
One victim, an 84-year-old man, said in a letter handed in on March 4: ‘Why should he be shown any compassion, when he had none for his many victims?’
Only 20 victims said they would be happy for him to be released early.
The federal Bureau of Prisons, which published the estimate of his remaining lifespan, has also refused to offer him early release as this would ‘minimize the severity of his crimes’.
Assistant US Attorney Drew Skinner said that any move to release Madoff would be ‘self-serving and of limited, if any, evidentiary value’. He did not, however, give a view on whether the criminal should be released.
Since his crimes were committed an estimated $14billion of the money lost has been recovered.
Madoff pictured after suffering a heart attack in federal prison, according to a report
Madoff also appealed for release last year ostensibly to look after his wife Ruth in her old age
Madoff confirmed on Wednesday last week that he is ‘terminally ill’.
‘There’s no cure for my type of disease. So you know, I’ve served. I’ve served 11 years already, and, quite frankly, I’ve suffered through it,’ Madoff said.
His lawyer Brandon Sample says that despite the prosecution’s claims, Madoff ‘is remorseful for his conduct,’ and ‘remains hopeful’ his request will be granted.
Madoff also requested for his sentence to be reduced last year, claiming that he wanted to take care of his wife Ruth in her old age.
Madoff’s case is the biggest test of the First Step Act, a bipartisan law signed by President Donald Trump in December 2018 affording early freedom to some older prisoners, often for health reasons.
Among those released is Bernard Ebbers, who once led phone company WorldCom Inc. He died on February 2 at age 78.
Among those released under the First Step Act was Bernard Ebbers, who once led phone company WorldCom. He died on February 2 at age 78
Prosecutors said Madoff used his firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities to swindle thousands of individuals, charities, pension funds and hedge funds, including many with ties to the Jewish community.
A court-appointed trustee estimated Madoff’s customers lost $17.5billion. Nearly $14billion has been recovered.
Madoff was arrested in December 2008 after admitting his fraud to his sons, who have since died, and pleaded guilty three months later to 11 criminal counts.
They also said his request last year that President Trump commute his sentence was mainly so he could care for his wife Ruth in her old age, ‘apparently confident’ his health would allow it. Trump has not acted on that request.
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