Bernard Madoff, architect of the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that wiped out the assets of many Jewish families and organizations, reportedly is dying of cancer.
Now serving 150 years in the federal prison at Butner, North Carolina, sources told the New York Post that Madoff says he does not have much longer to live.
- Bernard Madoff (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)
“He’s been taking about 20 pills a day for his cancer,” one inmate told the newspaper.Â “He talks about it all the time. He’s not doing very well.”
The Post story this week mentioned that “rumors of his suffering from pancreatic cancer surfaced many months before he arrived” at the federal prison in June.
In an unusual detail in the story, Madoff apparently participated in an American Indian sweat lodge ceremony held in the lock-up. The New York Post reported that, according to a source, “aÂ a bare-chested Bernie has been killing time at the prison participating in Native American religious purification ceremonies.” Indian inmates in many prisons are accorded the right to hold sacred pipe and sweat lodge ceremonies, just as other inmates are allowed to worship according to their ways.
“[Madoff] accepted invitations from Native American inmates to join them at their weekly prayer services,” according to the Post. “The ceremonies involve praying, using heated rocks to induce sweat and smoking from a ceremonial pipe.”
In addition to his new Indian friends, MadoffÂ “is also making new friends at the prison complex through another unlikely clique — the homosexual posse, although the relationships are purely platonic, according to the sources,” the Post reported.
The story quoted “one jailbird”: “In prison, you stick to your own kind, but he’s doing the exact opposite by hanging with the Indians and [homosexuals] — so who is going to have his back?”