Bernie Madoff asks Trump to commute his 150-year sentence

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has asked President Donald Trump to commute his sentence.

Madoff, 81, filed a request with the Justice Department between one and three months ago, The Hill reported.

The Justice Department’s website lists the request as “pending,” and says it is updated to July 1. The request is for clemency, not a pardon.

Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, for his $19 billion Ponzi scheme, which began in the early 1970s and lasted until his arrest in 2008. He pleaded guilty to 11 felony charges related to money laundering, perjury and falsifying financial documents.

The uncovering of the Ponzi scheme revealed the tens of billions of dollars in fake profit that victims believed they had earned through Madoff. Many prominent Jewish nonprofits also suffered big losses, with Yeshiva University taking a $140 million hit, Hadassah $90 million and the late Elie Wiesel’s foundation losing $15 million.