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Ponzi scheme king Bernie Madoff denied compassionate prison release by federal judge

  • June 04, 2020

Madoff still is pursuing a request that President Donald Trump commute his sentence. 

His lawyer Bernard Sample, in a statement to CNBC, said that Chin “recognized today that Madoff’s health is in serious decline and that he is, in fact, terminally ill.”

“Nonetheless, Judge Chin essentially found that because of the nature of Madoff’s crimes — Madoff is beyond redemption,” the lawyer said.

“We are disappointed with Judge Chin’s refusal to grant Madoff any compassion,” Sample said.

The attorney added, “Our only hope now is that President Trump will show mercy to Madoff by granting a sentence commutation. We implore the president to personally consider Madoff’s rapidly declining health. President Trump, through his leadership on the First Step Act, has demonstrated his commitment to mercy and redemption.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which prosecuted Madoff, declined to comment on the decision.

Sample in February had said that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons recognized that Madoff “meets the criteria for a reduction of sentence based on his end-stage renal disease,” but that the agency denied his request for compassionate release.

The BOP said in its denial letter on Dec. 5 that, “in light of the nature and circumstances of his offense, his release at this time would minimize the severity of his offense.”

Irving Picard, the trustee tasked with recouping money for victims of Madoff, also declined to comment. According to the trustee’s website, about $14.35 billion had been recovered as of late May for the victims, of which about $13.32 billion had been distributed.

That compares to about $19.41 billion in allowed claims, submitted by 16,521 victims.

– Additional reporting by Scott Cohn 

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