NEW YORK – A federal judge on Thursday (June 4) rejected Bernard Madoff’s request to be released early from prison because he was dying of kidney failure, saying the swindler has never fully accepted responsibility for his massive, decades-long Ponzi scheme.
Circuit Judge Denny Chin, who called Madoff’s crimes “extraordinarily evil” when imposing a 150-year sentence in June 2009, wrote that while Madoff’s failing health was “most unfortunate,” compassionate release was unwarranted.
“When I sentenced Mr. Madoff in 2009, it was fully my intent that he live out the rest of his life in prison,” Chin wrote.
“Nothing has happened in the 11 years since to change my thinking.”
The judge called Madoff’s fraud “one of the egregious financial crimes of our time.”
Madoff’s lawyer, Brandon Sample, expressed disappointment that Chin found Madoff “beyond redemption,” and said his client’s last hope was for President Donald Trump to commute his sentence.
Sample has said Madoff, 82, used a wheelchair and had fewer than 18 months to live. The US government opposed early release.