An escape plot by Bernard Madoff was foiled recently when the disgraced financier was turned in by a disgruntled accomplice, federal corrections officials report.
Madoff, serving 150 years for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded his investment clients of an estimated $65 billion, has been placed in solitary confinement and deprived of access to his Ameritrade account.
In a statement released by Butner Federal Prison Director Ward N. Frandle, Madoff had circulated an ‘escape prospectus’ among the prison population, proposing a 1,500 foot escape tunnel under the prison’s walls. The work would be done by 1,500 ‘shareholders’ — fellow prisoners digging one foot each, reports Frandle.
Each ‘tunnel investor’ was told by Madoff to come to his cell at a scheduled time, according to the report. “Prisoner Madoff told each investor he was the first to dig. After a investor finished with his 12 inch segment, Madoff would fill it back in and await the next victim.”
“Madoff essentially oversold the escape tunnel 1,500 times,” Frandle said.
The plan came to light just after midnight Monday morning, when all 1,500 investors rendezvoused at Madoff’s cell with their luggage.