Bernard Madoff, who was convicted for running the largest known Ponzi scheme in world history, died on Wednesday in prison. He was 82.
He was serving a 150-year sentence at Butner Prison in North Carolina.
A spokeswoman for the prison bureau said Madoff’s death at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, about 3:30 a.m. EDT (0730 GMT) was believed to be from natural causes.
He had been suffering from terminal kidney disease and several other medical ailments.
He was held at the Butner prison after being sentenced in June 2009 to a 150-year term for engineering a fraud estimated as high as $64.8 billion.
Madoff for decades presented himself as a successful and trusted Wall Street kingpin while secretly engaging in investment fraud, prompting his sentencing judge to condemn his crimes as “extraordinarily evil.”
Last year, he sought “compassionate release” from prison so he could die at home, but the judge who had originally sentenced him to prison rejected that request.
“Bernie, up until his death, lived with guilt and remorse for his crimes,” Madoff’s lawyer Brandon Sample said in a statement.
“Although the crimes Bernie was convicted of have come to define who he was – he was also a father and a husband.
“He was soft spoken and an intellectual. Bernie was by no means perfect. But no man is.”
Madoff’s thousands of victims, large and small, included individuals, charities, pension funds and hedge funds.