Infamous Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff is seeking early release from prison. On March 12, 2009, Madoff, 81, pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies, including wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, making false statements, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan and making false filings with the SEC.
Rather than working out a plea deal with the government, Madoff pleaded guilty to all charges, insisting that he was solely responsible for the scheme. It is believed he made this plea, so that he would not have to name any associates or co-conspirators in the massive scheme.
Madoff apologized to his victims, saying “I have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren. This is something I will live in for the rest of my life. I'm sorry.”
On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison.
In July 2019 Madoff first petitioned President Trump for a reduction in his sentence. Rather than asking for a pardon, he asked requested clemency from Trump in the form of a sentence commutation or reduction.
The application filed with the U.S. Justice Department is still pending, according to its website. It is not clear when the application was filed, and it is possible that it was filed during the Obama administration.
Madoff, who is dying from kidney failure, is seeking early release under the First Step Act. The act allows some older prisoners to obtain freedom due to health reasons.
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