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June 08, 2021

Update: Madoff a 'hero,' has groupies in prison

Since the Bernie Madoff story, unlike even the lurid tale of Tiger Woods, is the one that won’t go away, it’s fitting now that we have a new wrinkle to the narrative.

After the Ponzi king defrauded investors of some $65 billion, he was sent last year to a 150-year bid in a North Carolina prison, the place where the 72-year-old is set to die.

And then, by a winter report from the Wall Street Journal, Madoff was whooped by an ex-inmate, who allegedly caused the disgraced financier a broken nose, broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Judging by your comments here, few felt sorry for the man.

“I think they should let the victims beat on him every time he heals up till he drops dead. The *sshole,” wrote Rick, an MSN reader.

“Time for me to go over there and beat the s**t out of this Liberal scumbag!” echoed EUGENE, a fellow commenter.

Yet for anyone that desires to see Madoff live out his prison years in misery, please read this.

New York Magazine just released an incredible feature on the fraudster and his life in jail. The verdict? Madoff, despite reports of constant threats of assault, lives lick a rock star inside FCI Butner prison – the Ponzi master is renowned as a “hero,” according to several ex-inmates.

The piece is littered with unbelievable anecdotes about Madoff and his cult following/appreciation inside the joint, where he shares a home with Mob bosses, terrorists and bank robbers:

a) According to the mag, Madoff has what one inmate calls “groupies,” a collection of hangers-on who follow him on the exercise track, “kiss his ass” and even ask for his autograph. Of course, Madoff – with his legendary ego – has rejected all autograph requests because “he was sure they would sell it on eBay,” said one of his attorneys.

b) Or there was the time Madoff and a slew of other inmates sat around the TV watching the 60 Minutes  segment profiling the fraudster. According to the NY mag feature, one inmate exclaimed during the show, “Bernie, you got ‘em for millions!” Madoff replied coldly, “No, billions.”

What’s most striking about the story, though, is how little remorse Madoff appears to feel for his crimes.

By two tales in the NY mag feature, the Manhattan fraudster expresses disdain for his victims, even mocking them to other inmates.

1. “That evening an inmate badgered Madoff about the victims of his $65 billion scheme, and kept at it. According to K.C. White, a bank robber and prison artist, Madoff stopped smiling and got angry. ‘F**k my victims, he said, loud enough for other inmates to hear. ‘I carried them for twenty years, and now I’m doing 150 years.’”

2. Or there was the time another inmate told Madoff his thoughts on the massive scam, saying “taking advantage of old ladies was “kind of f**ked up.” To which Madoff replied, matter-of-factly, “Well, that’s what I did.”

Maybe 150 years isn’t long enough to rehabilitate this one.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...