The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has denied various media reports that convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff has cancer. The notion that Madoff had been diagnosed with the disease first emerged in an item published by the New York Post Monday. The agency's chief spokesperson, Traci Billingsley, said in a statement, "While the NY Post story is full of inaccuracies, and we can't specifically address all of them, we can tell you that Bernie Madoff is not terminally ill, and has not been diagnosed with cancer." The Post item -- later seconded by The Wall Street Journal, which cited "sources familiar with the situation" -- maintained that Madoff had been taking numerous pills for an unnamed type of cancer. The Post based its story on a fellow inmate at a federal prison in Burner, N.C., who said that Madoff spoke about his cancer "all the time." The Journal, meanwhile, has since stepped back a bit from its earlier claim that it had "confirmed" the Post report, but said in an update online that its source continues to maintain that Madoff has a "serious" type of cancer. Madoff, 71, arrived at the North Carolina prison complex in June to serve a 150-year sentence for masterminding the largest Ponzi scheme on record. Lawyers for Madoff and his wife, Ruth, have so far been silent on the matter, according to the Post.
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