US stockbroker Bernard Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison in one of the largest investment fraud cases in financial history, has passed away, and US media reports confirmed US judicial authorities when asked. Madoff died Wednesday at the age of 82 in a prison hospital in North Carolina, where he was serving his sentence. He described himself as “terminally ill” more than a year ago.
Madoff is the mastermind of a financial fraud of historical proportions. He pleaded guilty to 11 counts in 2009, including fraud and money laundering. The financial warlock has cost thousands of investors tens of billions of dollars by forging supposed dream profits from new investors’ money for decades. When the so-called pyramid scheme was bombed during the 2008 financial crisis, many of its victims lost all their savings.
In Austria, too, there were “Madoff victims”, that is, a relatively large number of people who filed cases against Madoff. Only from the USA, Germany, France and Switzerland came more cases. Since 2009, there have been investigations regarding Madoff about the former Bank of Vienna Medici and his former co-owner of the Bank of Austria. The bank manages the money that flowed through the money to Madoff. According to the National Bank, investors in this country lost 350 million euros.
The family of Sonya Kohn, the founder of Medici Bank that now no longer exists in Vienna, lost $ 11.5 million (€ 8.51 million at the time) to fraudulent US billionaire Bernard Madoff. The former Bank of Medici, which was hit hard by the fraud case, was founded in 1984 by banker Kuhn. The investment banker was considered a brilliant network marketer, and according to the Financial Times, Madoff is said to have met in the 1980s. The private bank also did the main business with the money – more than $ 3 billion was allegedly invested in Madoff. The Bank of Austria and Medici Bank finally paid $ 500 million in Madoff’s bet.
Madoff had already complained in an interview in February 2020 of his “terminal illness” and had applied for the early release of the Corona pandemic, which had not been granted. “There is no cure for my type of disease,” Madoff told the Washington Post at the time. He had already served his sentence of eleven years and suffered constantly. His attorney stated that Madoff had a fatal kidney disease and may have had less than 18 months to live.
Madoff’s career began on Wall Street in the 1960s. When he was in his early twenties, a broker from Brooklyn, New York, set up his own investment company shortly after graduating. With the promise of high returns, he raised a lot of money from investors – family members, friends and acquaintances gave their savings. In fact, the money kept increasing – on paper at least – and Madoff became a big name in the financial community and a member of New York’s high society.
The fraud system was not exposed until the 2008 financial crisis, when many investors suddenly wanted to withdraw their money. When Madoff’s corporation collapsed, customer deposits were valued at $ 65 billion (€ 54.6 billion today). In fact, there was only 300 million dollars available. Madoff – merely a famous financial star and coveted money manager by American celebrities – is now a fraudulent billionaire who has been imprisoned for the rest of his life. He himself later claimed that his robberies were only possible because financial institutions like his home bank JPMorgan were deliberately looking the other way.
While in custody, reports that Madoff lived like a star in prison caused an uproar. In federal prison in the small town of Butner, North Carolina, he was a celebrity, according to US media, some kind of talking Robin Hood, albeit less generous. “He took money from rich and greedy people who wanted more,” Shannon Hay, a drug dealer and convicted inmate, told New York magazine in 2010. Madoff has provided Hollywood material for many TV series and movies.