On Wednesday, Bernie Madoff died of natural causes at the age of eighty-two. Madoff became infamous as the investment advisor who orchestrated the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff’s scheme was revealed to authorities in 2008 after his sons Mark and Andrew turned him in. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is currently the largest in world history and the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.

Based on the accounts of Madoff’s 4,800 clients that he swindled, the fraud itself was worth $64.8 billion. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme victims included numerous celebrities such as Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, John Malkovich, Elie Wiesel, Larry King, Jeffrey Katzenberg and the entire team of the New York Mets. For his crimes, Madoff received a sentencing for 150 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Madoff’s brother Peter was also arrested for his part in the Ponzi scheme. The family suffered a string of tragedies not long after Madoff’s arrest. Mark committed suicide by hanging on December 11, 2010 while Andrew died of lymphoma on September 3, 2014.

Madoff has attempted to reduce his prison sentence several times recently. In 2019, Madoff contacted former President Donald Trump to request a pardon. His lawyers petitioned for his release in 2020 citing his terminal illness, which was later denied. While Madoff was hospitalized in 2019, the request was once again denied due to the severity of his crimes.


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