MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) — Bernard Madoff, whose name will forever be linked to financial fraud, died while serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison. He was 82 years old.

Madoff was the mastermind behind a $20 billion Ponzi scheme, the largest financial fraud in history.

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South Florida billionaire Norman Braman was one of Madoff’s largest victims.

Braman told CBS4’s Jim DeFede on Wednesday morning that he had no reaction to Madoff’s death.

“That’s past history. It was over a long time ago for me,” he said. “I can’t change what’s already happened. So I never look back. It’s not in my nature. And that philosophy has served me well all of my life.”

Madoff died Wednesday at the Federal Medical Center in the prison in Butner, North Carolina. A cause of death was not released.

“There are some still pending matters that are out there, some of them have been resolved, some of them are still in litigation phases,” said attorney Daniel Stermer.

Madoff had a legendary career on Wall Street, famously delivering astronomical returns for his investors, which included director Steven Spielberg, actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

He served as chairman of the Nasdaq for several years in the 1990s and amassed beach houses, boats and a Manhattan penthouse.

In 1960, he founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.

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Madoff was arrested in 2008.

In 2009 he shocked the world when he pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to eleven felony charges. Prosecutors said Madoff had defrauded as many as 37,000 people and stole thousands out of their life savings.

Madoff had been using money from new investors to pay back earlier investors. He supposedly had a total of $65 billion under management, but two-thirds of that money was a figment of Madoff’s imagination. The rest was his investors’ principle.

No one has been able to prove when Madoff began stealing from investors.

He told CNNMoney in a 2013 interview that it all started in 1987, but he later said the scheme began in 1992. Madoff’s former account manager, Frank DiPascali, Jr., said in court testimony that financial misdeeds had been going on “for as long as I remember.” He started working at the firm in 1975.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee charged with recovering assets stolen by Madoff, together with the Department of Justice, recovered tens of billions of dollars, distributing the vast majority to Madoff victims.

While his victims are left with questions, Stermer said Madoff’s death makes no difference

“Mr. Madoff’s passing is a moment in time. It will not have no impact on the litigation or settlements reached,” he said.

Stephie Halio who CBS4 spoke to years ago said Madoff had stolen all of her retirement money.

“He was living off the money he stole from us, I don’t understand how he could call us greedy,” she said.

In February 2020, Madoff petitioned the courts for an early release from prison, stating that he had terminal kidney failure and had a life expectancy of less than 18 months. But the US Attorney’s office for the southern district of New York said Madoff’s crime was “unprecedented in scope and magnitude” and is “sufficient reason” to deny Madoff’s request.

Judge Denny Chin, who originally had imposed the sentence of 150 years, denied his request for release, calling his crime “one of the most egregious financial crimes of our time,” and one that continued to take “a staggering human toll.”

“When I sentenced Mr. Madoff in 2009, it was fully my intent that he live out the rest of his life in prison,” the Chin wrote in his order last June. “The symbolism of a 150-year sentence was important: the public trust had been eroded by Mr. Madoff’s ability to manipulate the system for so many years, he deserved to be punished according to his moral culpability.”

Madoff was born April 29, 1938 in New York City’s borough of Queens, where he met his wife Ruth in high school. They had two sons, both of whom worked for their father’s firm. Mark killed himself in 2010.

Madoff’s brother Peter also served a 10-year prison sentence for his involvement in the scheme. He was sentenced in 2012.

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CBSMiami.com Team