- Victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme said the 81-year-old should remain behind bars after he asked a federal judge to grant him “compassionate release” from his 150-year prison sentence.
- Madoff told the judge that he has 18 months to live, and he wants to salvage his relationship with his grandchildren before he dies.
- Steve Heimoff, who lost his $US2 million retirement nest egg to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, told Business Insider that he was “not particularly interested” in seeing Madoff be released.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband, the German-American businessman Frederic Prinz Von Anhalt, told TMZ that Madoff should remain behind bars until he only has one or two months left to live.
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Notorious Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff asked a federal judge to grant him “compassionate release” from his 150-year prison sentence on Wednesday, but his victims say he should remain behind bars.
Madoff has spent 11 years in prison in connection to a multi-billion dollar fraudulent investment scheme in which he admitted to swindling thousands of clients.
He told a judge on Wednesday that he was requesting compassionate release from prison because he has end-stage kidney disease and other “chronic, serious medical conditions,” and doctors told him he only has 18 months to live.
But victims of his Ponzi scheme told Business Insider and TMZ that his request should be denied.
Steve Heimoff, who lost his $US2 million retirement nest egg to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, told Business Insider that Madoff should stay in prison “for the rest of his days.”
“I’m not particularly interested in seeing Mr. Madoff obtain early release. His crime affected tens of thousands of people, throwing many of them into poverty,” Heimoff, from Oakland, California, said. “As far as I can tell, he has never expressed remorse, nor has he apologised to his victims. From the media reports, he lives comfortably in a white-collar prison, where he is something of a celebrity among his peers.”
Madoff has another 119 years to go
In a phone interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday, Madoff expressed remorse for his actions and said that he wanted to reconnect with his grandchildren before his death.
“I’ve served 11 years already,” he said, “and, quite frankly, I’ve suffered through it.”
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband, the German-American businessman Frederic Prinz Von Anhalt, said his late wife, who he says lost $US10 million in the scheme, would tell Madoff to rot in hell, according to TMZ.
In an interview with TMZ, Von Anhalt said 18 months is too long for Madoff to be out in the world. He said Madoff should be held for another 16 months, then be released with just two months left to live.
“That would be OK,” he told TMZ. “I could live with that.”
In court papers, his attorney said a compassionate release, as such requests are called, would let Madoff “receive end-of-life care in the community, which would be more efficient, timely, and less burdensome” than it would be inside the US Bureau of Prisons system.
The Bureau of Prisons denied Madoff’s last request for release, which was filed in December. His release date is currently set for November 14, 2139.
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