Notorious Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff asked President Trump to reduce the remainder of his 150-year prison sentence
Bernie Madoff, the notorious Ponzi schemer, has asked President Donald Trump to commute his 150-year prison sentence, of which he has served a decade. Madoff, 81, is imprisoned in a federal medical center in North Carolina.
During his presidency, Trump has granted 10 pardons and commuted four sentences.
Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi scheme leader who swindled investors out of billions of dollars, has filed a petition with the Justice Department asking that President Donald Trump reduce or commute his prison sentence.
Madoff is serving 150 years for leading what was the largest Ponzi scheme ever as the head of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in New York City. He was sentenced in 2009 after pleading guilty to 11 crimes, including the fraudulent scheme.
His request for clemency is pending, according to the Justice Department’s website. He is asking that Trump grant him clemency through a sentence commutation or reduction. That would mean that he would be released but not be pardoned for his crimes.
It is unclear when Madoff submitted the application for clemency. The Department of Justice said in an email that the date the petition was submitted was not public.
Madoff, 81, is incarcerated in a federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Without a reduced or commuted sentence, his release date is listed as November 14, 2139.
During his presidency, Trump has granted 10 pardons and four commutations.
He has pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Phoenix sheriff;
Joe Arpaio, the Arizona lawman who once proclaimed himself “America’s toughest sheriff” and was largely praised by conservatives for his hard-line policing tactics, was found guilty of criminal contempt, bringing his tenure as a relentless crusader against illegal immigration to an end.
More than a month after lawyers wrapped up closing arguments, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton found Arpaio guilty for defying a judge’s 2011 court order to refrain from racially profiling Latinos during patrols and turning them over to federal immigration authorities.
During the trial, which took place in a federal court in Phoenix, prosecutors argued that Arpaio intentionally violated the court order, which demanded his officers stop detaining people simply on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally — a practice that had led to the detention of some Latinos who were citizens or legal residents.
Prosecutors used Arpaio’s own words against him, pointing to several media appearances throughout the years, including a Univision interview in March 2012 in which he admitted that he was still targeting people based on immigration status.
“If they don’t like what I’m doing,” he said, addressing his opponents, “get the laws changed in Washington.”
In an interview with Fox News two months later, Arpaio said he was going to continue arresting immigrants in the country illegally: “I’m not going to give it up. I’m going to continue to enforce state laws and federal laws.”
Arpaio’s lawyer, Jack Wilenchik, argued that the court order from U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow was not clear and that the sheriff was simply carrying out state and federal laws without intentionally profiling anybody or asking his department to do so.
Wilenchik said that Arpaio planned to appeal Bolton’s verdict and get a trial by jury. Arpaio lost his bid for a jury trial in early May after Bolton rejected it on the grounds that the law did not require juries in cases in which the potential jail term was so short.
“Bolton violated the U.S. Constitution by issuing her verdict without even reading it to the defendant in public court,” Wilenchik said in a statement. “Arpaio believes that a jury would have found in his favor, and that it will. He is in this for the long haul.”
In her written opinion, Bolton said the evidence showed “flagrant disregard” for the court order and that Arpaio had “willfully violated” it. She also said Arpaio had failed to ensure his department complied with the order by directing his deputies to “continue to detain” people.
Bolton said evidence showed that Arpaio understood the order.
“Despite this knowledge, the defendant broadcast to the world and to his subordinates that he would and they should continue ‘what he had always been doing,’” Bolton said.
Arpaio was elected sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County in 1992 and served six terms before losing reelection in November.
He was known for crackdowns on illegal immigration and tough incarceration policies. He forced inmates to wear pink underwear and housed them in canvas tents under the hot Arizona sun.
Such practices drew sharp criticism from advocates for civil and immigrant rights but made him popular with many Arizonans and turned him into a national icon for opponents of illegal immigration.
He campaigned for Donald Trump during last year’s presidential race and continued to be a leading proponent of the lie that President Obama was not born in the United States after Trump dropped it.
He continued to boast about cracking down on illegal immigration even after his department received profiling complaints.
Immigrant advocate groups welcomed the judge’s ruling and said the decision provided lessons other departments should follow.
“Local sheriffs pursuing undocumented immigrants leads to unconstitutional policing, racial profiling and illegal stops,” Cecillia Wang, the American Civil Liberties Union deputy legal director, wrote on Twitter.
“Sheriffs and police chiefs who decline to do immigration enforcement and focus on public safety have it right.”
On August 25, 2017, President Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio for criminal contempt of court, a misdemeanor.
Arpaio had been convicted of the crime two months earlier for disobeying a federal judge’s order to stop racial profiling in detaining “individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally”.
The pardon covered Arpaio’s conviction and “any other offenses under Chapter 21 of Title 18, United States Code that might arise, or be charged, in connection with Melendres v. Arpaio.”
The official White House statement announcing the grant of clemency described Arpaio as a “worthy candidate” having served the nation for more than fifty years “protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”
Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator;
Lewis “Scooter” Libby
Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who once served as former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. He is an American lawyer and former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
From 2001 to 2005, Libby held the offices of Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, and Assistant to the President during the administration of President George W. Bush.
In October 2005, Libby resigned from all three government positions after he was indicted on five counts by a federal grand jury concerning the investigation of the leak of the covert identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame Wilson.
He was subsequently convicted of four counts (one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and one count of making false statements), making him the highest-ranking White House official convicted in a government scandal since John Poindexter, the national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan in the Iran–Contra affair.
After a failed appeal, President Bush commuted Libby’s sentence of 30 months in federal prison, leaving the other parts of his sentence intact.
As a consequence of his conviction in United States v. Libby, Libby’s license to practice law was suspended until being reinstated in 2016.
President Donald Trump fully pardoned Libby on April 13, 2018.
When someone receives a presidential pardon, it means that all consequences of their conviction are removed.
Trump has also handed out commutations, which don’t go as far as pardons — generally commutations shorten the prison sentence while leaving other consequences of the conviction intact.
He commuted the sentences of Sholom Rubashkin, who was convicted for bank fraud, in December 2017.
Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin (born October 30, 1959) is an American businessman and the former CEO of Agriprocessors, a now-bankrupt kosher slaughterhouse and meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, formerly owned by his father, Aaron Rubashkin.
During his time as CEO of the plant, Agriprocessors grew into the largest kosher meat producer in the United States, but was also cited for issues involving animal treatment, food safety, environmental safety, child labor, and hiring of illegal immigrants.
In November 2009, Rubashkin was convicted of 86 counts of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering. In June 2010, he was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
In a separate trial, he was acquitted of knowingly hiring underage workers. He served his sentence in Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville in Mount Hope, New York.
In January 2011, his lawyers filed an appeal; on September 16, 2011, the appeals court ruled against Rubashkin. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from that ruling on October 1, 2012.
On December 20, 2017, citing the large bipartisan push for the measure, President Donald Trump commuted Rubashkin’s prison sentence after eight years served.
Steven Dwight Hammond and Dwight Lincoln Hammond
The next year, he commuted the sentences of Steven Dwight Hammond and Dwight Lincoln Hammond, two ranchers in Oregon convicted of arson.
Alice Marie Johnson
Trump also commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a drug offense.
Johnson was granted clemency after Kim Kardashian West pushed Trump to hear her case. He commuted her life sentence in June 2018.
Madoff’s former secretary, Annette Bongiorno, 70, is also asking Trump to commute her six-year prison term.
She was convicted in 2014 for her part in the scheme, which her lawyer said she did not know about.
Her application for clemency comes after a judge rejected a request that she be released from prison early because of her age and moved to home confinement.
She has served about 4 1/2 years of her sentence.
Madoff lost upward of $65 billion from investors — although he made off with only about $20 billion himself — and ignited an estimated $363 billion exodus from funds unrelated to him.
Irving Picard, a court-appointed trustee, has recovered more than $13.3 billion of the $17.5 billion of claims customers who said they were cheated by Madoff have filed, The Wall Street Journal reported.