NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Accused $50 billion Ponzi scheme swindler Bernard Madoff exits federal court March 10, 2009 in New York City. Madoff was attending a hearing on his legal representation and is due back in court Thursday. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Bernard Madoff, whose name became synonymous with financial fraud, died while serving a 150-year sentence in Federal Prison. He was 82 years old.

His death Wednesday at the Federal Medical Center in the prison in Butner, North Carolina, was confirmed by the US Bureau of Prisons.

A cause of death was not released.In February 2020, he petitioned the courts for an early release from prison, stating that he had terminal kidney failure and a life expectancy of less than 18 months.

But the US Attorney’s office for the southern district of New York said Madoff’s crime was “unprecedented in scope and magnitude” and is “sufficient reason” to deny Madoff’s request.

Madoff was the mastermind behind a $20 billion Ponzi scheme — the largest financial fraud in history.

He had a legendary career on Wall Street, famously delivering astronomical returns for his investors, which included director Steven Spielberg, actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

He served as chairman of the Nasdaq for several years in the 1990s and amassed beach houses, boats and a Manhattan penthouse. But Madoff was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty to eleven felony charges in 2009.

He had been using money from new investors to pay back earlier investors. He supposedly had a total of $65 billion under management, but two thirds of that money was a figment of Bernie Madoff’s imagination.

The rest was his investors’ principle.

Madoff founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in 1960, but no one has been able to prove when Madoff began stealing from investors.