The greatest scammer in Wall Street history is dead. He had been in prison for twelve years and was imprisoned for 150 years. Since 2020, Bernard Madoff has referred to himself as “terminally ill”.

He was the mastermind of one of the greatest investment fraud cases in financial history – now Bernard Madoff has died at the age of 82.

Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009. For decades he had paid investors supposed dream profits with the money of new investors. When the hoax was exposed, many lost their entire savings.

In total, Madoff is said to have cheated about 4800 investors – using a so-called pyramid scheme. The investors’ money is not invested profitably, as the operator has led to believe. Instead, investors who request distributions will only receive funds that have been deposited by other, new investors.

Among the victims of Madoff’s fraud system were celebrities such as Hollywood director Steven Spielberg and his business partner and co-founder of the Dreamworks studio, Jeffrey Katzenberg. In total, damage of more than 50 billion dollars was incurred, of which around one billion was incurred in Germany. When tried, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 counts, including fraud and money laundering.

In prison, Madoff first boasted about how well he was being treated. The prison in North Carolina, where he is serving his sentence, reminds him more of a university campus, he wrote a few weeks after starting his prison sentence in a letter from which the US broadcaster ABC quoted. Madoff enthuses in the letter to his daughter-in-law Stephanie Mack that he is treated with as much respect as a mafia boss. “As you can imagine, I’m quite a celebrity here.”

In an interview with the ABC, Mack said that after reading it, she was “sick”. Her husband Mark Madoff, the eldest son of the mega-con man, had recently committed suicide, allegedly because he suffered badly from the scandal and public contempt.

In 2020, Bernard Madoff tried to get out of prison early for health reasons. He suffered from kidney disease, among other things, he told the Washington Post in a telephone interview. “I’m terminally ill,” he said. He has less than 18 months to live. “There is no cure for my type of illness.” The request was dismissed.