NEW YORK (AP) — Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, has died in a federal prison, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Madoff died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, apparently from natural causes, the person said. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

Last year, Madoff's lawyers filed court papers to try to get the 82-year-old released from prison in the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he had suffered from end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions. The request was denied.

Madoff admitted swindling thousands of clients out of billions of dollars in investments over decades.

A court-appointed trustee has recovered more than $13 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion that investors put into Madoff’s business. At the time of his arrest, fake account statements were telling clients they had holdings worth $60 billion.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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