Bernie Madoff's victims have just until Friday to weigh in about whether he should be freed from prison early to avoid dying behind bars, according to the government.
Madoff, now 81, is serving a sentence of 150 years in prison for scamming tens of thousands of investors from around the world with his infamous Ponzi scheme scam, but has requested compassionate release, reports The New York Post.
Madoff says he has just 18 months left to live because of end-stage kidney disease and other "chronic, serious medical conditions."
He is in the Butner Federal Correction Complex in North Carolina and is seeking early release under the First Step Act, a bipartisan law signed in December 2018 that lets some older prisoners obtain freedom, often for health reasons.
The government said in a filing Monday that it has already been getting letters from Madoff's victims, after his scam that netted him $65 billion. The letters are set to be released, with names redacted, in a public filing next Tuesday.
One of Madoff's victims, Gregg Felson, told the Post last week that he called the U.S. Attorney's office immediately after he heard Madoff was trying to get out of prison early.
"He is only now saying he is sorry in order to try to garner sympathy because he is sick," Felson said. "He was a con man all his life and now he is trying to con the judge to release him."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Drew Skinner said in Monday's filing with Manhattan federal Judge Denny Chin that Madoff's counsel also agrees with the letters approach.
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