Breaking: Bernie Madoff, Master of the Ponzi Scheme, Dies in Prison

Bernie Madoff, the financier who orchestrated a massive Ponzi scheme which cost investors billions, died in a federal prison on Wednesday. His death was reportedly from natural causes, a source confirmed to the Associated Press. He was 82 years old.

Madoff bilked thousands of investors out of billions of dollars in investments over decades. At the time of the fraudster’s arrest, fake account statements had been sent to clients telling them they had holdings worth $60 billion. A court-appointed trustee managed to recover just $13 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion that investors gave him.

For decades, Madoff enjoyed an image as a self-made financial guru. As a former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, he attracted thousands of clients, from Florida retirees to celebrities such as famed film director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. But his investment advisory business was exposed in 2008 as a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that wiped out people’s fortunes and ruined charities and foundations.

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Madoff pleaded guilty in March 2009 to securities fraud and other charges, saying he was “deeply sorry and ashamed.”

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