What do disgraced Ponzi scheme king Bernie Madoff, serving 150 years in federal prison for bilking investors out of billions and the Lockerbie Bomber, who killed 189 American souls by downing PanAm Flight 103 in 1988, have in common?
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The same reason for wanting to get out of jail early: a terminal illness.
In a court filing Wednesday, obtained by FOX Business, Madoff's attorney Brandon Sample filed a 'Motion for Compassionate Release' stating:
"Madoff presents "extraordinary and compelling reasons" for compassionate release and the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) recognizes that Madoff meets the criteria for a reduction in sentence based on his end-stage renal disease."
"This Court must now consider whether keeping Madoff incarcerated, in light of his terminal kidney failure and a life expectancy of less than 18 months, is truly in furtherance of statutory sentencing goals and our society's value and understanding of compassion."
In a supporting argument, Sample cited the Lockerbie Bomber who was released after just eight years due to terminal prostate cancer.
His victims, nearly 5,000 people, may feel differently. Madoff is in jail for running the largest Ponzi scheme in history, ripping off more than $64 billion. Madoff's scheme lured investors by guaranteeing amazingly high returns and worked for a while by paying early investors with the investments of later investors.
In a tragic twist, his two sons, to whom he reportedly confessed, are now deceased.
Mark committed suicide and Andrew succumbed after a long battle with Lymphoma.
The scheme lasted several years as Madoff and his family lived an opulent lifestyle. But the "business" came crashing down in 2008 as the financial crisis was in full swing and his clients requested a total of $7 billion back in returns.
Madoff's victims ranged from regular Main Street types to celebrities including actors Kevin Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgewick to sports royalty such as the Wilpon Family, owner of the New York Mets.
The incredible tale caught Hollywood's eye spawning two features starring two Academy Award Winners.
Actor Richard Dreyfus portrayed Bernie Madoff in Disney's ABC miniseries "Madoff" which also starred Blythe Danner as his wife Ruth.
Robert DeNiro starred in HBO's “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust”, Michelle Pfeiffer played Ruth.
In 2008, the Madoff Recovery Initiative was created which took sued Madoff customers who withdrew more money than they put in. As of January more than $1`4 billion has been recovered for victims of the Madoff scheme.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also took serious heat after repeatedly ignoring warnings from Whistle Blower Harry Markopolos.