Prosecutors reject ‘compassionate release’ request from Bernie Madoff


(JTA) — U.S. government prosecutors have opposed a request from Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff to be freed from federal prison even though he says he will soon die of kidney failure.

Prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday night that the request for “compassionate release” should be denied because Madoff never accepted responsibility for the $19 billion scheme or showed compassion for his victims, Reuters reported.

Madoff has served about a decade of a 150-year sentence in a North Carolina federal prison for a scheme that went from the early 1970s until his arrest in 2008.

“Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil. His sentence was appropriately long. It should not be reduced,” prosecutors said in the filing.

In a request filed last month in federal court, Madoff’s attorney asked for a “compassionate release” from federal prison for his 81-year-old client. The filing says Madoff, who needs a wheelchair and has multiple medical problems, has been told he has less than 18 months to live.

Prosecutors also said about 500 of the 520 victims who wrote to the Manhattan federal court about Madoff’s request opposed compassionate release.

Many prominent Jewish nonprofits suffered big losses in the fraud. Yeshiva University took a $140 million hit, Hadassah lost $90 million and the late Elie Wiesel’s foundation $15 million.

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