Butner NC - Madoff Tells of $9 Billion He Stashed Away With Friends: Prisonmate
Butner NC - Ponzi king Bernard Madoff is telling fellow jailbirds that he secretly funneled $9 billion in swiped funds to three people before he was nabbed, an inmate told The Post.
Madoff says that his partner in crime Frank DiPascali knows who the recipients are—and that he suspects DiPascali is using that information to cut a better deal with the feds, according to the inmate at the medium-security prison in Butner, NC.
“I think it was personal friends,” the inmate said of the recipients of the mega-bucks.
DiPascali, 52, pleaded guilty last year to 10 felonies in connection with helping Madoff swindle investors out of more than $60 billion at his Manhattan financial firm.
Madoff, 72, is serving a life sentence, but DiPascali has reportedly been trying to avoid that fate by cooperating with prosecutors—who argued strenuously for his release from jail pending sentencing despite a judge’s initial reluctance to grant bail.
DiPascali remains locked up awaiting sentencing, unable to post a $10 million bond.
DiPascali’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey, did not return a call seeking comment.
The Manhattan US Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting DiPascali, and Madoff’s lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, had no comment on the inmate’s claim about DiPascali.
The inmate, who has witnessed the arch swindler’s daily routine, also detailed how Madoff began attending sessions with a female prison psychiatrist last year after becoming depressed about a tell-all published in August by his former mistress, Sheryl Weinstein.
“He was having problems with his wife [Ruth]” over the book’s revelations, the inmate said.
“He felt she might leave him.”
The book, “Madoff’s Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me, ” details Weinstein’s sexcapades with Madoff and how he screwed her out of her life savings.
The shrink prescribed Madoff antidepressants, the inmate said.
Ruth Madoff did not abandon him and still visits, the inmate said.
But Ruth, who has not been charged, has moved out of New York state to get away from the harsh public attention.
“She’s bought a regular car,” the inmate said. “She’s looking to do charity work. She wants to have her own privacy and to start a new life.”
The inmate said Madoff’s sessions with the shrink and the medication have relieved his stress, which was so bad when he arrived at Butner last July that he broke out in hives and other skin maladies on his arms.
But that medication also caused a scare for Madoff on Dec. 18, when he was found on the floor with a gashed head and face, several broken ribs and his eyeglasses broken, the inmate said.
“He looked really bad, really bad,” the inmate said. “The buzz was he got beat up by a bunch of [Washington,] DC, guys that were trying to extort money.”
That “buzz” led to several media reports that Madoff had been attacked.
But the inmate said that, in fact, Madoff had collapsed in the middle of the night while getting water because an antidepressant drug he had begun taking earlier that day interacted badly with another medication.
“He didn’t get beat up,” the inmate said.
At Butner, Madoff is known for regularly hanging around with another notorious inmate—Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel while working as a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy—and former New York pharmacist John Mancini, who was locked up for illegally distributing millions of painkillers.
“Jonathan Pollard and him watch TV together. They watch CNN,” the inmate said. “Bernie likes watching to see if there’s anything about him on it.”
But Madoff “gets upset” if he disagrees with how he is portrayed on television and was particularly disturbed by the reports that he had been assaulted, the inmate said.
Madoff also sometimes chats with Colombo crime-family boss Carmine Persico, who is serving a life sentence at Butner.
“They play boccie” and take walks together, the inmate said.
As with Persico and Pollard, Madoff is one of—if not the most—high-profile inmate at Butner.
“Everybody knows Bernie Madoff,” the inmate said. “Everyone says, ‘Hey, Bernie, how are you doing?’ To a lot of inmates, he’s a god.
“The higher the profile, the more they look up to you.”
Despite such respect, Madoff, who used to work in the prison’s library, now toils four days a week in a menial job in the commissary.
The inmate said the commissary work was “very strenuous” for Madoff.
Noting that some prisoners order 30 cans or more of soda that Madoff then has to deliver, the inmate said, “It’s a lot for him to carry.”
The fellow prisoner added that Madoff is being shunned by his two sons, Andrew and Mark, who worked for his firm and have not spoken to him since he confessed his scheme to them in December 2008.
“He’s really hurt by their not coming around,” the inmate said. “His sons never [talk] to him, never [write] to him.”
But, the inmate added, “[Madoff] feels eventually—eventually—as time passes, he feels they’re going to come around.”
The inmate noted that Madoff has been able to write to his grandchildren, which gives him pleasure.
And, the inmate said, despite recent reports that Madoff has no sympathy for his victims, “he knows he did wrong.
“He also feels a lot of pain for what he did to people” and hopes they are able to recover at least some of the money he swindled from them, the inmate said.
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