Mr. Madoff, onetime chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, was convicted of defrauding investors out of billions

Bernard Madoff,
the architect of one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history, has asked a federal court to release him from prison as he fights a terminal illness.Mr. Madoff, who has served the first decade of a 150-year sentence, has chronic kidney failure and 18 months to live, his attorney wrote Wednesday in a motion requesting compassionate release. He is incarcerated in Federal Medical Center prison in Butner, N.C.
Mr. Madoff, onetime chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market and a fixture on Wall Street for decades, shocked the world in December 2008 when he confessed that his investment business was a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. He pleaded guilty in March 2009 and was given the longest sentence allowed.
In the decade since his arrest, a court-appointed trustee has returned more than $12 billion to Mr. Madoffs former clients. Mr. Madoffs clients have claimed losses of more than $17 billion.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions complaint against Mr. Madoff in December 2008, he told two senior employees that his scheme had lost $50 billion.
Now 81 years old, Mr. Madoff does not dispute the severity of his crimes nor does he seek to minimize the suffering of his victims, his attorney wrote. Now, after over ten years of incarceration and with less than 18 months to live, Mr. Madoff humbly asks this Court for a modicum of compassion.
The attorney, Brandon Sample, said late Wednesday that Mr. Madoff was hospitalized in December and his condition was deteriorating. Hes truly a broken man, Mr. Sample said.
Write to Justin Baer at justin.baer@wsj.com
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