Local News

Madoff arrives at Butner prison

Posted July 14, 2009 5:47 a.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2009 8:50 a.m. EDT

— Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff arrived by bus Tuesday morning at the federal prison in Butner, where authorities have said he will serve his 150-year sentence for fraud.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Linda Thomas says Madoff arrived at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner around 11 a.m., after a brief stay at an Atlanta prison while in transit from a federal jail in New York City.

Madoff has a projected release date of November 14, 2139, assuming he gets early release credit for good behavior while in prison. He is listed in Bureau of Prisons records as prisoner number 61727-054.

Madoff, 71, was sentenced June 29 after pleading guilty in March to charges that his investment advisory business was a multibillion-dollar scheme that wiped out thousands of investors and ruined charities.

Authorities said that he had carried out the fraud for at least two decades before confessing to his sons in December that his investment business was a fraud and that he had lost as much as $50 billion.

The Federal Correctional Complex in Butner holds 3,400 inmates and includes two medium-security facilities, a low-security facility and a hospital, according to the Bureau of Prisons Web site.

Madoff won't be the first high-profile inmate to serve time in Butner.

Israeli spy Jonathon Pollard, World Trade Center bombing mastermind Omar Abdel-Rahman, former televangelist Jim Bakker, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and John Hinckley, who tried to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan, all spent time behind bars at the federal prison.

Abdel-Rahman, also known as the blind sheik, was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 for his role in a plot to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and to blow up New York City landmarks, including the United Nations. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 and moved to Butner in 2007.

John Rigas, founder of Adelphia Communications, and his son, Tim, the company's chief financial officer are also serving time at Butner. They were convicted on multiple charges of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud.

"He has got to serve his time somewhere, so I reckon why not Butner?” Butner resident Scottie Norwood said Monday evening as news of Madoff's transfer made its way quickly around the community.