Bernie Madoff’s Life in Prison

Madoff has been in prison for years after his Ponzi scheme was discovered in 2008 and he lost his wealth, including his $7 million penthouse, his other homes, and his yacht. Bernie Madoff “took great pains to insulate his family from his financial wrongdoings, but it didn’t work.”

Madoff’s oldest son, Mark, committed suicide in 2010, two years after his father’s arrest. Madoff said he is still haunted by his son’s death, and that it is one of the reasons why he can’t sleep in prison. Madoff is serving a 150 year sentence, and the 75 year-old former billionaire would be released in 2139. Madoff pled guilty to stealing $17.5 billion from his investors in a pyramid scheme, and is serving his time at a medium security prison, which is “not a ‘country club’ for white collar crooks,” experts say.

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Madoff says that his deception started in 1987 after Black Monday. He said that he never really recovered from the massive sell-off, and then started deceiving investors. He said that the situation was never supposed to go on for that long. “It was certainly never my intention for this to happen,” said Madoff. “I thought I could work myself out of a temporary situation, but it kept getting worse and worse, and I didn’t have the courage to admit what I had done. It created a major problem.”

Now Madoff is the inmate number 61727-054 at Butner Federal Correctional Complex, where he works a few hours a day. Madoff  used to be a clerk in the commissary, but now he works on the telephone and computer system. He says he has to ”make sure they’re working and they’re kept clean.” Madoff makes about 4o dollars a month for the menial labor he does in prison.

In addition to being plagued by the death of his son, Madoff also says, “I live with the remorse, the pain I caused everybody — certainly my family and the victims.” Madoff’s younger brother, Peter, is serving a ten-year sentence at a medium security prison in South Carolina. Peter Madoff pled guilty to covering up the financial wrongdoing of his brother.

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Many of the victims of Madoff’s scheme hoped that he would suffer in prison, but Mike DeVita, who coauthored the book ”The Club that No One Wanted to Join,” said that Madoff has been relatively well-off in prison.

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