Bernie Madoff, the fallen financier who scammed tens of thousands of people out of billions of dollars, has died at the age of 82. He was preceded in death by two of his three sons, but his wife, Ruth Madoff, survives him.
Where is Ruth Madoff now? What is her life like today? She’s living a quiet light out of the public eye that is a far cry from the lavish lifestyle her husband’s Ponzi scheme used to fund. The last time she was encountered by the media, she was living in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, to be close to her grandchildren, but she told the media she didn’t want to talk.
Bernie Madoff’s cause of death has been given as only “natural causes,” however he also suffered from terminal kidney disease.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ruth Madoff Was Living in a ‘Nondescript Condo’ in Connecticut
Madoff’s wife Ruth is still alive. According to NBC New York, Ruth Madoff was never charged in the scam and didn’t divorce her husband.
Ruth Madoff was last known to be living in a “nondescript condo” in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, according to the New York Post, which tracked her down, but she didn’t have anything to say to them. The Post reported that she moved to that community in order to be closer to her grandchildren in 2012.
She had been living in a condo in Boca Raton, Florida. The Post reported that Ruth was largely left alone in Old Greenwich and spent her mornings visiting a bagel shop. She was 76 years old in 2017, when the Post tracked her down there. According to the Post, in a deal with prosecutors in which she relinquished most of her wealth, Ruth Madoff was allowed to keep $2.5 million. For a time she lived with her son Andrew, but he died of cancer.
She’s seen Hollywood actresses play her throughout the years, including Michelle Pfeiffer. The Post said she was shunned by social circles, but Ira Sorkin, a lawyer who represented Bernie, said of Ruth: “She has suffered beyond imagination. She couldn’t walk out of her apartment to get a cup of coffee without being harassed.”
In 2019, according to CNBC, Ruth “agreed to pay $594,000 and surrender her remaining assets when she dies to settle claims by the court-appointed trustee liquidating her husband’s firm.”
The Greenwich Times said that there didn’t seem to be any lingering anger among Ruth Madoff’s Old Greenwich neighbors and some even expressed sympathy.
Ruth Madoff Once Gave a Television Interview Calling Her Husband ‘the Villain’ & Two of Her Sons Died Young
Ruth Madoff told Today in 2011: “The villain of all this is behind bars.”
She also gave an interview to 60 Minutes in 2011. She told CBS that the couple wanted to kill themselves. “I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening.” They both took pills but woke up the next morning.
Madoff’s son Mark “hanged himself by a dog leash last year on the anniversary of his father’s arrest,” NBC New York reported.
Her other son Andrew died of cancer at age 48. The Madoffs have one living son. Her son Peter received a 10-year prison sentence, according to AP.
Bernie Madoff, Who Died in Prison, Was Terminally Ill
The federal Bureau of Prisons told AFP: “We can confirm Bernard Madoff passed away on April 14, 2021, at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Butner, North Carolina.” They said the cause of death would be determined by a medical examiner.
But Madoff’s lawyer said he was terminally ill. According to CNBC, Madoff was the mastermind of “the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history,” a fraud scheme that totaled $65 billion. He pleaded guilty to 2009, and he died in prison.
According to Yahoo Finance, Madoff’s lawyer, Brandon Sample, said that Madoff was terminally ill and “wanted to leave prison to die.”
He said at that time that Madoff had “terminal kidney disease, among other serious medical conditions,” Yahoo Finance reported.
“The Bureau of Prisons concluded in September 2019 that Madoff has less than 18 months to live because of the terminal nature of his kidney failure,” Sample wrote, according to the publication. The request for compassionate relief was denied.