Feb 5, 2020 - Economy & Business

WaPo: With 18 months to live, Bernie Madoff asks for prison release

Bernie Madoff. Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Notorious Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff is seeking medical release from a life sentence in prison because he is in the final stages of terminal kidney disease, he told the Washington Post.

The big picture: Madoff has already served 11 years of his 150-year sentence, after pleading guilty to 11 criminal charges, including fraud and money laundering. He orchestrated the largest Ponzi scheme in modern American history.

  • Madoff's request, filed in the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, will "test the justice system’s capacity for compassion weighed against his unprecedented crimes," per the Post.
  • "His scheme ruined scores of lives, stole the financial futures of thousands and sent many retirees back to work after wiping out their nest eggs," the Post writes.

Madoff, 81, was diagnosed with a series of conditions, including end-stage renal disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and hyperparathyroidism, according to the Post. His medical records indicate he has nearly 18 months left to live.

  • He has been moved to palliative care within the Federal Medical Center prison in North Carolina, and the Bureau of Prisons already rejected his application for compassionate release in December.

What he's saying:

“I’m terminally ill. There’s no cure for my type of disease. So, you know, I’ve served. I’ve served 11 years already, and, quite frankly, I’ve suffered through it."
— Bernie Madoff told the Post

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Trump pardons the swamp

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he would commute former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issue full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

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Timeline: The major developments in the college admissions scandal

Michelle Janavs, whose family owns food manufacturing company Chef America, maker of Hot Pockets. Photo:
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In what Department of Justice prosecutors have called the biggest admissions scam in U.S. history, parents allegedly bribed coaches and paid for forged standardized tests in a conspiracy to get their children into elite American colleges.

Driving the news: Michelle Janavs, whose family created Hot Pockets, was sentenced on Tuesday to five months in prison for agreeing to pay $300,000 in bribes to get her two daughters into universities.

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Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh sentenced to 3 years in prison

Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh received a 3-year prison sentence for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

The state of play: Pugh, 69, resigned in May 2019 as she faced state and federal investigations in a years-long scheme in which she sold her self-published "Healthy Holly" children’s books to nonprofits and foundations to promote her political career and fund her mayoral campaign. She apologized in a video submitted on Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, per the Baltimore Sun.