Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82; town of Fairfield was among victims of massive Ponzi scheme

Bernie Madoff, who was known for running the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, died in prison Wednesday at the age of 82.

News 12 Staff

Apr 14, 2021, 7:07 PM

Updated 1,141 days ago

Share:

Bernie Madoff, who was known for running the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, died in prison Wednesday at the age of 82.
Madoff was serving a 150-year sentence for bilking investors out of $20 billion. He was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty the following year to Wall Street's biggest scam.
Victims ranged from retirees to charities to well-known celebrities. The Town of Fairfield's retirement fund lost $15 million due to the scheme.
"Obviously our first reaction was like most people's first reaction - disbelief and anxiety and that sort of thing," says chief administrative officer for Fairfield Tom Bremer.
He served as chief of staff to First Selectman Ken Flatto in 2008.
"We had substantial investment in the Madoff funds as part of our pension fund," he says.
The town's money has since been recouped through litigation.
"On paper, we thought we had a lot more money so obviously we weren't able to capture any of that growth, but we were very happy to recover our initial investment," Bremer says.
Plenty of others weren't so lucky.
Madoff's wife, Ruth Madoff wasn't charged in the scheme and denied any knowledge of it.
She moved to Old Greenwich in 2012. She's led a quiet life out of the spotlight; most recently in a one-bedroom apartment in Old Greenwich Gables Community.
Tax records show she last lived in town in 2019.
Madoff petitioned the court for early release in February 2020 saying he had terminal kidney failure with a life expectancy of less than 18 months.
The U.S. Attorney's Office denied his request, citing the scope of his crime.


More from News 12