Bernie Madoff dies in federal prison aged 82: Mastermind behind largest Ponzi scheme in US history passes away ‘from natural causes’ 12 years into 150-year sentence

  • Madoff died at the Federal Correctional Facility in Butner, North Carolina
  • He died of natural causes, according to prison sources, less than a year after asking for compassionate release because he had kidney disease
  • Madoff ran the biggest Ponzi scheme in US history, defrauding thousands of victims of $64billion 
  • Some of them lost everything and killed themselves as a result of him targeting them 
  • After his arrest, his adult son Mark committed suicide and his other son died of lymphoma
  • Madoff’s wife Ruth fled Manhattan in shame and set up in life in Greenwich, CT 

Bernie Madoff has died in prison at the age of 82. 

The disgraced financier died on Wednesday morning from natural causes according to sources cited by The Associated Press. 

Madoff is the most prolific Ponzi scheme scammer in American history, targeting 37,000 people in 136 countries over several decades. 

Last June, he asked for compassionate release claiming he was dying from kidney disease. He was denied by a judge who said he’d committed ‘one of the most egregious financial crimes’ in US history.   

He robbed victims of $64.8 billion, taking one’s money to pay off the other and fake investments, for years before finally being arrested in 2008. 

Some of his victims lost everything and at least one killed themselves over the fraud. 

Bernie Madoff has died in prison at the age of 82. The disgraced financier died on Wednesday morning from natural causes according to sources cited by The Associated Press

Madoff died at the Federal Correctional Facility in Butner, North Carolina

The judge in his case called it one of if not the most egregious financial crimes in history.  

One of Madoff’s sons killed himself two years after his arrest, and his other died from lymphoma. 

Madoff was arrested in 2008 after his two sons turned him in 

His wife Ruth moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, after his arrest to live in exile. 

Initially he was given house arrest and spent it confined to his palatial Upper East Side mansion. 

The judge revoked it shortly before he was sentenced. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years behind bars in 2009. 

The financier was eventually turned in to the FBI by his two adult sons. 

He’d confessed to them that their office – Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities- was ‘one big lie’ and that while he’d begun his career legitimately, he hadn’t actually made a trade on behalf of clients for years. 

Madoff bewitched not just financiers and federal regulators but also the rich and famous who he promised to make millions for. 

When the SEC investigated irregularities or suspicious transactions coming from his office, he assuaged them by telling them he had everything under control.

They believed him. 

After his arrest, an entire overhaul was ordered to ensure similar crimes wouldn’t go unnoticed again.  

His clients included Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weise. 

Madoff insisted in prison that he began legitimately but that he started committing fraud in the early 1990s after the Gulf War caused the market to stall.  

Madoff’s wife Ruth fled Manhattan in exile after his arrest in 2008. She has been living quietly in Greenwich, CT, for the last several years 

Ruth Madoff is pictured shopping at Ikea in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2014

It ran smoothly until the financial crash of 2008 when suddenly, all of his clients started asking for redemption at once. 

That is when he revealed to sons Mark and Andrew that it had all been a lie. 

Mark hanged himself in his Manhattan apartment on the two year anniversary of his father’s death. 

His wife later blamed her father-in-law, telling ABC: ‘He couldn’t get out, he was so betrayed and so hurt by Bernie. 

‘I hate Bernie Madoff. If I saw Bernie Madoff right now, I would tell him that I hold him fully responsible for killing my husband, and I’d spit in his face.’ 

Andrew died from lymphoma in 2014. 

Bernie’s brother Peter was also jailed. He spent eight years in prison for his role in the scheme and was released last June. 

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