Bernie Madoff was sentenced to a 150-year prison term for a variety of white-collar crimes related to his Ponzi scheme, and at the age of 81, he seemed destined to die behind bars. But now he is reportedly seeking a pardon from Donald Trump which would allow him to live out his life in freedom.
“Bernie Madoff is asking that President Donald Trump reduce his 150-year prison sentence. … Madoff, who pleaded guilty to 11 crimes in 2009, is not asking for a pardon from the president. Instead, he is requesting clemency from Trump in the form of a sentence commutation, or reduction.”
Madoff’s lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, shared that he knew nothing about the request, and the White House has referred everyone to the Justice Department.
Marc Litt, the lead prosecutor in the case against Bernie Madoff, believes that the felon got an appropriate sentence, and asking for clemency shows an extreme level of “chutzpah.” Prosecutor Matthew Schwartz said it’s “hard to imagine a less sympathetic nonviolent offender” than the Ponzi schemer, adding that his victims continue to suffer, so why shouldn’t he remain behind bars?
Bernie and his "Madoff Five" gang of secretaries, enablers and computer programmers don't deserve clemency. https://t.co/0UG27RhYeC
— Erin Arvedlund (@erinarvedlund) July 24, 2019
In the past, Madoff has stated that he regrets not going to trial because he thought his sentence was unfair, saying that he should have gotten credit for all those years when he was in business not committing crimes. He stated that he could have called many witnesses to prove that at one time, he was a “savvy trader.”
One would think that the chance of Madoff getting clemency is not good, but Trump has pardoned some questionable folks, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby, and Kristian Saucier, so never say never.
Radar Online believes that Madoff has another reason for seeking a pardon, and that’s his health. An unnamed source is saying that the Ponzi scheme king wants Trump to grant him clemency because he’s struggling with kidney failure, saying that “his kidney failure started about six months ago and it has gotten worse. It makes him retain fluids, which causes swelling of his lower limbs and abdomen. He was forced to start using a walker about a month ago.”
Madoff’s doctor has suggested that he start dialysis, as he has stage four kidney disease, but he is refusing, even though there is a center across the street from the prison in Butner, North Carolina.