Bernie Madoff, mastermind behind biggest investment fraud, dies in prison
Bernard Madoff, mastermind of the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history, ripping off tens of thousands of clients of as much as $65 billion, died Wednesday. He was 82. Mr Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009 after he admitted he had defrauded investors through a Ponzi scheme, which paid out using their money rather than any profits. It collapsed during the financial crisis of 2008. Mr Madoff started his financial career aged 22 with $5,000 from money made from summer holiday jobs such as working as a garden sprinkler installer in New York.
His firm became one of the largest market-makers - matching buyers and sellers of stocks - and Mr Madoff served as chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange.
The firm was investigated eight times by the US Securities and Exchange Commission because it made exceptional returns.