NEW YORK – Bernard Madoff, who defrauded investors of more than $19 billion in history’s biggest Ponzi scheme, has asked for early release from his 150-year prison sentence, claiming his health is failing.
Madoff asked U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin to release him after serving just 10 years, claiming he suffers from terminal kidney failure and has just 18 months to live.
“Madoff humbly asks this Court for a modicum of compassion,” his lawyer said in papers filed in Manhattan federal court Wednesday.
Madoff’s investors lost $19 billion in principal and more than $40 billion in fake profit when his securities firm collapsed in December 2008. His victims included thousands of wealthy investors, Jewish charities, celebrities and retirees.
The fraud unraveled in 2008 when the economic crisis led to more withdrawals than Madoff could afford to pay out. Some clients learned they lost their life savings after Madoff’s confession and arrest on Dec. 11 of that year.
Chin sentenced him to 150 years behind bars after the con man pleaded guilty in 2009. In July, Madoff asked President Donald Trump to commute his sentence.
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