April 14 (UPI) — Bernie Madoff, who victimized Hollywood stars and many others in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, died in prison Wednesday, federal corrections officials said. He was 82.
Madoff, the former chairman of Nasdaq, was 12 years into his 150-year prison sentence when he died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C.
Prisons officials did not specify a cause of death.
Madoff’s name because synonymous with Ponzi schemes after prosecutors charged him for ripping off Hollywood figures like filmmaker Steven Spielberg and actor Kevin Bacon and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.
The swindles were carried out by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.
A Ponzi scheme is an illegal practice that takes money from new investors to pay profits to earlier investors. The practice can continue for indefinite periods of time.
When Madoff’s scheme crumbled, he plead guilty to 11 federal criminal counts in 2009. A glimpse into his medical condition a year ago showed that he had renal disease and other ailments.
He unsuccessfully asked former President Donald Trump two years ago to commute his sentence.
The Justice Department worked for years to recovered tens of millions of dollars that Madoff stole from victims. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation also gave victims $600 million in insurance payouts.
Brother Peter Madoff was sentenced in 2012 to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the scheme. Madoff’s son Mark, who worked at the firm, killed himself in 2010.