Madoff arrives at prison to serve sentence

Jonathan Pollard at same facility.

July 15, 2009 09:00
1 minute read.
Madoff arrives at prison to serve sentence

Bernard Madoff 248 88 . (photo credit: AP)

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff arrived Tuesday at a federal prison in North Carolina to begin serving a 150-year sentence for what is believed to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Linda Thomas said Madoff had arrived at the Butner, North Carolina, facility after leaving federal jail in New York City on Monday. Madoff has a projected release date of November 14, 2139, assuming he gets early release credit for good behavior while in prison. He is listed in Bureau of Prisons records as prisoner number 61727-054. The 71-year-old Madoff pleaded guilty in March to charges that his investment advisory business was a multibillion-dollar scheme that wiped out thousands of investors and ruined charities. Ponzi, or pyramid, schemes are nothing new, but Madoff's was shocking for its size and duration. In a Ponzi scheme, early investors are paid by diverting money from new investors. When the flow of new money dries up, the scheme collapses and the fraud is exposed. Authorities said Madoff had carried out the scheme for at least twenty years before confessing to his sons in December that his investment business was a fraud and that he had lost as much as $50 billion. The Butner Federal Correctional Complex, located about 72 kilometers northwest of Raleigh, includes two medium-security facilities, a low-security facility and a hospital, according to the Bureau of Prisons Web site. Within the federal prison system, it is perhaps best known for its hospital facility to treat elderly or sick prisoners. Among the well-known criminals being held at Butner are: • John Rigas, founder of Adelphia Communications, and his son, Tim, the company's chief financial officer. They were convicted on multiple charges of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. • Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel more than two decades ago. • Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the blind sheikh, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 for his role in a plot to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and blow up New York City landmarks, including the United Nations. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 and moved to Butner in 2007.

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