Bernie Madoff, the infamous orchestrator of the biggest investment fraud schemes in U.S history, died while in prison. He was 82.
Bureau of Prisons confirmed that Madoff passed away on April 14 at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina. The schemer had been serving his 150-year prison sentence when he died.
After organizing a Ponzi scheme that cheated investors millions of dollars, Madoff was arrested in December 2008 on fraud charges and later on, pleaded guilty. Madoff apologize and told the court he was “ashamed” of his actions.
Judge Denny Chin hardly showed mercy for Madoff. “Here, the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil,” the judge said while delivering Madoff’s sentence, “and that this kind of irresponsible manipulation of the system is not merely a bloodless financial crime that takes place just on paper, but it is instead—one that takes a staggering human toll.”
NBC News reported that Madoff’s Ponzi scheme included A-list personalities such as Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, and Steven Spielberg.
Screenwriter Eric Roth, the mind behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, also revealed that he lost all of his retirement money in the scheme. “I’m the biggest sucker who ever walked the face of the Earth,” he told the L.A. Times in Dec. 2008. “But the tragedy is the people who lost their life savings and their dreams.”
While Madoff was in prison, he lost both of his sons. Mark Madoff, in 2010, died by suicide at 46 and four years later, Andrew Madoff died at 48 after a fierce battle with lymphatic cancer.
“As difficult as it is for me to live with the pain I have inflicted on so many, there is nothing to compare with the degree of pain I endure with the loss of my son’s Mark and Andy,” Madoff wrote in an email to NBC News in 2015. “I live with the knowledge that they never forgave me for betraying their love and trust. As much as I tried to reach out to them in an attempt to explain the circumstances that caused my betrayal they could not find it possible to forgive me.”