Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff had died from kidney failure. The man who conned unsuspecting victims out of billions of money had amassed a nest egg of $710 for nearly 3,000 hours of prison orderly work.
Madoff had served 12 years of a 150-year sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina when he died in prison at 82 in April.
The City, an online news site that is not for profit, first reported details about Madoff’s imprisonment. The outlet reviewed the documents and found that Madoff had a small stockpile. It included eight AAA batteries as well as four religious paperbacks, four packets of popcorn, a packet ramen soup, and a box of gefilte salmon.
The City noted that the disgraced financier had first worked in the educational program area of the prison. He then asked to be transferred to The Chapel Area.
Madoff’s work in orderly was mostly well-received, but at one time a supervisor described Madoff as “not very reliable” and stated that he needed “closer oversight than most.”
His attorney last year disclosed Madoff to be terminally ill with kidney disease and requested early release on compassionate grounds for his client. The request was denied
Madoff enjoyed a luxurious life as the owner of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Security in New York for decades before being arrested in 2008 for running a Ponzi scheme that used money from investors to pay alleged profits to others. Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felonies the year after.
The Justice Department in December announced the Madoff Victim Fund had distributed $3.2 billion to nearly 37,000 people defrauded by Madoff. This tally accounted for more than 80% his victims’ losses.
Madoff was born in Queens, New York in 1938 to a lower-middle-class Jewish family. The story of Madoff’s meteoric rise to fame in the financial world — how he and his brother Peter left New York for Wall Street in 1960 with just a few thousand dollars from his work as a lifeguard, installing sprinklers, and a few thousand dollars — is legendary.
Madoff was instrumental in the creation of the Nasdaq, which became the first electronic stock exchange. He also advised the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the system. The agency didn’t discover that Madoff was creating a network of phantom wealth behind closed doors in an office hidden from view. He was using cash from new investors as a way to pay old investors on a scale never seen since Charles Ponzi.