Sci-tech

Bernie Madoff, financier behind world's biggest Ponzi scheme, dies in prison

Bernie Madoff, financier behind world's biggest Ponzi scheme, dies in prison”

Bernie Madoff, the disgraced former financier who ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history, has died of natural causes in a U.S. federal prison, United States media reported.

Madoff died early on Wednesday at the Federal Medical Centre in Butner, North Carolina, apparently from natural causes, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press.

Last year, a lawyer claimed Madoff - who was convicted in 2009 of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that saw investors swindled out of an estimated $65 billion - was terminally ill and wanted to leave prison to die.

The death was announced by the US Bureau of Prisons.

More news: 2 men arrested in 1996 cold case of college student Kristin Smart

A pyramid, or Ponzi, scheme is a form of fraud in which returns on investments are generated only by bringing in fresh investments from new victims.

Before the economic crash of 2008, Madoff was a celebrated figure on Wall Street as the head of what appeared to be a wildly successful investment firm which he had founded as a penny stock trader in 1960. The former NASDAQ chairman pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts in 2009 at the age of 71. "However, this proved hard, and ultimately impossible, and as the years went by I realised that my arrest and this day would eventually come".

In a letter to a U.S. federal judge, attorney Brandon Sample petitioned for his early release, saying Madoff was suffering from "terminal kidney disease, among other serious medical conditions". "I've served 11 years already, and, quite frankly, I've suffered through it". So, you know, I've served.

Judge Denny Chin denied Mr Madoff's request, noting many victims were still suffering due to their financial losses.



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