Ten years ago Bernie Madoff got locked up in medium security Federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. Madoff joined fellow Jewish criminal Jonathan Pollard in a facility with about 750 other inmates. Butner is less violent than most medium facilities. The Feds put a lot of child molesters and sexual deviants in Butner. Pedophiles are targets for attack in prison. If you put them all in one place they can protect each other. This results in less violence, and less work for correctional officers.
Pollard was released from Butner five years ago. Before Pollard was released he spent a few years with Madoff. A number of former inmates at Butner were interviewed and said that Pollard and Madoff didn’t get along very well and almost came to blows. Other former inmates have said that they got along great. You can’t always trust the truth and veracity of criminals.
Yesterday Madoff filed a motion to be released under the compassionate release law. Madoff is dying from renal failure. Madoff wants to get out of Butner and spend his last days on earth with his wife. Madoff’s two sons died, one of cancer and the other of suicide. Madoff needs a new kidney. Nobody is lining up to donate a kidney to Madoff. Madoff has refused to be put on dialysis at Butner. Medical care at Federal prisons is about as advanced as medical care provided in the North Pole. The CO’s, or the inmates, would probably figure out a way to kill Madoff with the dialysis machine, just for the fun of it. The Feds still haven’t figured out how Jeffrey Epstein died.
Madoff’s doctors have said that his life expectancy is about 18 months. Madoff wants to die on the outside with his wife by his side. Madoff argued in his motion that a “friend” has agreed to take him in if he is released. Madoff refused to disclose the name of the friend, out of concerns for this friend’s “privacy.” Did Jonathan Pollard agreed to take in Madoff? Why would Madoff not request that he be released to his wife? Or, is the “friend” referring to Madoff’s wife?
A former inmate at Butner told a reporter that Madoff bragged about robbing money from little old bubbes, causing Pollard to rebuke Madoff. According to this inmate Rabbi Pollard told Madoff he would have to answer to G-d for his sins. Madoff allegedly laughed at Pollard. Bubbe maisa or fact? When I report on inmate activities in Otisville I make sure to verify my information with at least two independent inmate sources who don’t know each other. You can’t trust the word of an inmate.
The Feds at the Bureau of Prisons have opposed Madoff’s early release motion. The Feds think that his crime is far too serious to allow Madoff to benefit from the compassionate release law. The compassionate release law should be reserved for more upstanding criminals, like Worldcom executive inmate Bernie Ebbers. Madoff argued in his motion that Bernard Ebbers was just released by New York Federal Judge Valerie Caproni under the compassionate release law, over the objection of Federal prosecutors. Ebbers argued to Judge Caproni that he is 78 years old, he just lost 50 pounds in six months, he suffers from incontinence and dementia and fell down four times which required multiple hospitalizations. The Feds argued that Ebbers was faking his medical conditions in order to get out of jail early. The Feds even got the prison psychologist to eavesdrop on Ebbers prison phone calls with his daughter. The prison shrink said that Ebbers did not sound demented when he spoke with his daughter. I would suggest that Bernie Madoff fake incontinence in order to get the Feds to kick him out of Butner.
Ebbers’ restitution order was only $2 billion. Madoff’s restitution order is $170 billion. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail while Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years. Madoff’s attorney Brandon Sample argued that the trustee for Madoff’s estate recovered $14 billion, the largest sum ever recovered by the government in a ponzi scheme case. Bernie now only owes $156 billion to investors. What a stupid argument. Does attorney Brandon really expect Federal Judge Denny Chin to buy that line of shmaltz?
Brandon argued to Federal Judge Denny Chin that Madoff has no money and would have to survive on social security if he is out on the streets. Yet who is paying attorney Brandon Sample’s big legal bill? Brandon specializes in compassionate release cases. Brandon is a graduate of Vermont Law School, which is ranked at the bottom of the law school list, but is higher than Cooley, where Michael Cohen graduated. Sample’s office is located in Rutland, Vermont. What kind of an attorney works out of an office in Rutland, Vermont? Big time criminal defense lawyer Ben Braffman’s office is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Ben can get out of his elevator, take a stroll on 3rd Avenue and enjoy a kosher bagel and lox sandwich at Ess-a-bagel a few blocks from his office. Where does Brandon Sample expect to find a kosher bagel in Rutland, Vermont??
Attorney Brandon Sample and Madoff have a lot in common. They are both Jewish and they were both convicted of Federal crimes. Sample was sentenced to 14 years for conspiracy to launder money. Sample was released in 2012 and went to law school in Vermont, where he got his law degree. While he was in Federal prison Sample sued the Bureau of Prisons to permit him to drink wine on Shabbos and at his Passover seder in his jail cell. Sample’s case got thrown out. You can read his lawsuit below. The reason Sample had to go to Vermont to get his law degree is because there is a shortage of attorneys in small states, so it is easier to get admitted to practice in Vermont.
Sample alleged in his lawsuit the following: Plaintiff stated that he “believes that he must drink at least 3.5 ounces of red wine while saying Kiddush . . . during Friday night and Saturday shabbos services.” He also stated that “he must drink four cups containing at least 3.5 ounces of wine during the Passover seder.” He proclaimed this belief was dictated by “Jewish sages, the Code of Jewish Law, and by practice.” Plaintiff claimed to be “an observant Jew who practiced Judaism before his incarceration.” The Plaintiff later explains his early involvement with Judaism as follows: Around my 14th birthday, I began to seriously examine the Jewish religion, including studying the Torah, the Talmud, and the Code of Jewish Law. At the age of 17, I left my parents home, and lived by myself. During this time, I was able to explore, and practice Judaism, although my level of observance at the time was sporadic. I observed Shabbat in my home, and occasionally attended Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston. During Shabbat, I would always say Kiddush over wine and challah bread. During Pesach, I would always drink four glasses of wine…”
Bernie Madoff should be released from Federal prison before Pesach so that he can enjoy his Passover seder, as a free man, with his former cellmate Jonathan Pollard and his attorney Brandon Sample in Rutland, Vermont. They can even invite Bernie Sanders to join them.
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