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June 7, 2010 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Bernie Madoff - Free At Last While incarcerated for 150 years for a $65 Billion dollar Ponzi scheme, Berine Madoff creates his own version of the events that led to his arrest and becomes a local celebrity at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex. (via metachat)
posted by The Whelk (31 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would think that a general lack of humility and contrition would do well to keep one alive in the general prison population, regardless of the content of one's conscience.
posted by Danf at 9:55 AM on June 7, 2010


> “He could spin the globe and stop it anywhere with his finger, and chances are he had a house there or he’d been there. I was pretty blown away.”

And now he's only got one house. The Big House.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:11 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reason #17 why the American prison system sucks... There have to be better ways to punish a person, and in America, which (IMO) probably has the world's highest percentage of the population doing something illegal (some of which shouldn't be), you'd think 'good old American ingenuity' would come up with something better. But 'good old American ingenuity' is busy working on ways to privatize the current system for profit. (Insert snarky comment how the CEOs in the Prison Industrial Complex must really admire Bernie Madoff.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:14 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sounds like he's doing a lot better for himself than Allen Stanford.
posted by malocchio at 10:16 AM on June 7, 2010


"They didn’t see any reason for Madoff to regret his past. 'If I’d lived that well for 70 years, I wouldn’t care that I ended up in prison,' Evans says."

I'm gonna be sick.
posted by DZack at 10:19 AM on June 7, 2010


Ah. A real-world George Bluth....he even looks a bit like him in that first photo!
posted by schmod at 10:19 AM on June 7, 2010



Fortunately for Madoff, he’d landed at Butner Medium I, “Camp Fluffy,” as those who’d experienced other prisons call it. Medium I, population 758, is filled with “soft” prisoners, those who might not survive other institutions, including pedophiles and cooperators (“rats”).

It's kind of insane that they had to build a special prison just for people who would probably get murdered in a "normal" prison.
posted by ook at 10:23 AM on June 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


That's kind of fucked up, but also kind of fascinating. Having someone like Jonathan Pollard tell you, "You are going to pay with God," is kind of like Lex Luthor dissing the Joker.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:24 AM on June 7, 2010


You may judge me as you wish, but while part of me says "fuck that guy", part of me is glad he screwed over so many rich assholes just like him. His lack of remorse does little to change either part of that equation for me.
posted by briank at 10:24 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not too thrilled with anyone getting fucked over, personally.
posted by josher71 at 10:33 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's funny how the lowest end of the spectrum meets up so perfectly with the highest.
posted by codacorolla at 10:37 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, from the same prison,

“On November 7, 2009, around 8 a.m., an inmate attempted to rape me, and when I refused him, he cut me with a box cutter.

Goddamn it. Why don't we just go ahead and formalize the process, go back to gladiator games instead of prisons? Sounds like it'd amount to pretty much the same thing in the end.

I don't care about Bernie Madoff. I care about the poor sap who only stole thousands, instead of millions, so get stuck in the "normal" prisons where apparently rape and murder is just part of the regular routine. And about the society that somehow let that become "normal".
posted by ook at 10:38 AM on June 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I mean....he didn't get sent to jail until he was 70. That gave him a lot of years to enjoy luxuries most of us couldn't even dream of. And as I understand it, his wife and kids were left in pretty good financial shape. If he killed himself now, he'd have gone more places and done more things than 99.99% of us and lived about as long. That's the sad thing: he's in prison now, but, like, it was worth it (ethics and karma aside).
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:50 AM on June 7, 2010


I don't know about all that "it was worth it" talk; dying alone in a cage does not seem so hot to be honest.
posted by Mister_A at 10:51 AM on June 7, 2010


It's kind of insane that they had to build a special prison just for people who would probably get murdered in a "normal" prison.
posted by ook at 1:23 PM on June 7
No, it is not.

U.S. Constitution and all that.
posted by vhsiv at 10:53 AM on June 7, 2010



I don't know about all that "it was worth it" talk; dying alone in a cage does not seem so hot to be honest.

Well, that's certainly true. Though dying in a white collar prison isn't all that different from dying in a nursing home. It reminds me of that story from Herodotus about the two kings and that other guy who's determining who is happier...and the question comes down to is the man who live most of his life happy but died unhappy the happy one, or is it the guy who live unhappily for most of his life but was happy at the end.

Anyway, "the worth it" question is obviously too cut and dry, but it remains fucked up that it's questionable.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:01 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, it is not.

U.S. Constitution and all that.


You misunderstand me. The insanity is not that there was a special prison, it's that the need for one exists in the first place. No prisoner should have to face the risk of rape or murder.
posted by ook at 11:11 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


part of me is glad he screwed over so many rich assholes just like him.

If the pain were limited to rich assholes I'd be inclined to agree, but in fact some excellent foundations & non-profits also used him and so were gutted. Also, those rich assholes funded a huge number of good causes. For example, I've heard donations to Amnesty International dropped precipitiously because many of the donors were Madoff clients.

Take away lesson from Madoff: Don't use anyone who serves as his own financial custodian; make sure you're getting statements from a third party.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:40 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


...dying alone in a cage does not seem so hot to be honest.

For a too-large part of the population, it's far from the worst alternative (but is still rarely considered as an alternative).
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:49 AM on June 7, 2010


Am I alone in finding this sort of honesty refreshing?
posted by Think_Long at 12:20 PM on June 7, 2010


It's hard to fathom how much damage Madoff did to his victims by exploiting their trust. Many of them simply could not afford the complete loss of their personal financial security that he inflicted. Many were worthy charities. His ongoing lack of remorse says volumes about him.

But as long as he stays behind bars, I don't care if he is admired or has prestige there. As far as I'm concerned, there were two good reasons to incarcerate him forever -- 1) to stop him from victimizing anyone else again, ever and 2) to punish his behavior by taking away all his freedom and personal wealth. And those goals have been met.
posted by bearwife at 12:36 PM on June 7, 2010


See, in a just. sane Universe, they would have given the top ten victims of his crimes, big, sharp meat cleavers, and locked them - and Madoff - in a room for an hour. Justice served. EOS. He feels no remorse, great, he should feel nothing, ever again. And I suspect that the thousands of lives he helped destroyed, they might think I'm being too lax on the guy.
posted by dbiedny at 12:55 PM on June 7, 2010


See, in a just. sane Universe, they would have given the top ten victims of his crimes, big, sharp meat cleavers, and locked them - and Madoff - in a room for an hour. Justice served.

Exactly what notions of justice and sanity do you mean to be invoking, here?
posted by voltairemodern at 2:30 PM on June 7, 2010


See, in a just. sane Universe, they would have given the top ten victims of his crimes, big, sharp meat cleavers, and locked them - and Madoff - in a room for an hour.

Madoff would have offered 8 of the victims the contents of the wallets of the other 2, should the 8 align with him, and would have continued to work the opponents down until he was the last one standing.
posted by zippy at 2:46 PM on June 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I always thought it was incredibly naive to think that Madoff would have a tough time in prison, or that other prisoners wouldn't like him or something. I mean this guy is the greatest criminal in the history of the world. Do you think that other criminals would look up to him? Do you think the average inmate gives a crap about the wealth of multi-millionaires and billionaires? Why would they?
He feels no remorse, great, he should feel nothing, ever again. And I suspect that the thousands of lives he helped destroyed, they might think I'm being too lax on the guy.
The guy stole money. He didn't kill anyone. Lighten up.
posted by delmoi at 4:00 PM on June 7, 2010


The guy stole money. He didn't kill anyone. Lighten up.

don't expect me to lighten up. i've always thought that people like madoff--people who essentially have everything and have everything going for them & choose to use their 'power' for evil, not good--should be thrown somewhere in a dungeon and left to fend for themselves. if you're going to give some lying, thieving bastard a stay at club fed, why not give it to the homie from the hood who never had anything and could hardly conceive of making a living any other way?

bernie madoff: pphhttt.
posted by msconduct at 4:48 PM on June 7, 2010


club fed

No matter what the facilities are like, he's in a medium-security federal prison. That's no club.
posted by zippy at 5:07 PM on June 7, 2010


from the article:
Fortunately for Madoff, he’d landed at Butner Medium I, “Camp Fluffy,” as those who’d experienced other prisons call it. Medium I, population 758, is filled with “soft” prisoners, those who might not survive other institutions, including pedophiles and cooperators (“rats”).


yep. it goes on to say that however soft, prison is a hardship. so is losing your life savings to sociopath.

sorry. i'm just not feeling madoff's pain.
posted by msconduct at 5:42 PM on June 7, 2010


Pollard tells a story of a prisoner who took a bus full of kids hostage, and says "the kids were found dead." If that's true, it's horrible enough to be memorable. Can anyone place that event?
posted by Countess Elena at 6:16 PM on June 7, 2010


don't expect me to lighten up. i've always thought that people like madoff--people who essentially have everything and have everything going for them & choose to use their 'power' for evil
I was responding to someone who said the guy should be hacked to death with meat cleavers.
Pollard tells a story of a prisoner who took a bus full of kids hostage, and says "the kids were found dead." If that's true, it's horrible enough to be memorable. Can anyone place that event?
I remember hearing a story once about someone who took some kids hostage, locked them in an underground room with a ventilation system, which then failed. I think I saw on TV when I was a little kid or something, though.
posted by delmoi at 7:17 PM on June 7, 2010


Pollard tells a story of a prisoner who took a bus full of kids hostage, and says "the kids were found dead." If that's true, it's horrible enough to be memorable. Can anyone place that event?

Sounds like a creative retelling of the Chowchilla kidnapping.

The kids escaped.
posted by eye of newt at 8:45 PM on June 7, 2010


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