Infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has less than 18 months to live and wants a judge to grant him “compassionate release” from prison so he doesn’t have to die there, according to court papers filed Wednesday.
The epic fraudster — who ripped off tens of thousands of investors around the world with his $65 billion scam — even claims to have an unidentified friend who’s willing to take him in should the long-shot bid for freedom succeed.
Madoff’s Manhattan federal court filing says the 81-year-old con man — who’s serving a maximum, 150-year sentence — is terminally ill with “end-stage” kidney disease and a host of other “chronic, serious medical conditions,” including high blood pressure and heart disease.
It also calls the punishment that Madoff received in 2009 “symbolic” and invokes the “First Step Act” that President Trump signed into law in 2018 to help reduce the federal prison population.
“It is evident from a review of the [applicable] factors that Madoff presents no danger to any person or the community,” the filing says.
“He has no history of violence, he has less than 18 months to live and the public nature of his crimes guarantee that he would be unable to participate in financial or investment-related activities ever again.”
One of Madoff’s victims, photographer Gregg Felsen, said Madoff “should die in prison.”
“I don’t think there’s anybody who would want him to be released,” said Felsen, 72, of Palm Springs, California.
“He ruined the lives of thousands and thousands of people.”