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(photo credit: AP)
Bernard Madoff, the disgraced financier who swindled clients out of billions of dollars, has left a federal prison in Atlanta on Tuesday to begin serving his 150-year sentence in a jail in North Carolina.
The elderly Madoff left the penitentiary in Atlanta only a day after being transferred there Monday from a federal jail in New York City, Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Linda Thomas said.
Thomas would not say where Madoff is headed, but a law enforcement official told The Associated Press Madoff is destined for a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, to begin serving his sentence. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to discuss prisoner transfers.
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.
Authorities said Madoff had carried out the fraud for at least two decades 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 45 miles (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 ill 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 sheik, 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.