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Bernie Madoff Asks President Trump For Sentence Reduction

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Bernie Madoff wants President Donald Trump to reduce his 150-year prison sentence.

The Department of Justice confirmed Madoff filed paperwork asking the president, who has final say on clemency, to commute his term.

Madoff pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He admitted swindling thousands of clients out of billions of dollars in investments over decades.

A court-appointed trustee has recovered more than $13 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion that investors put into Madoff's business. At the time of his arrest, fake account statements were telling clients they had holdings worth $60 billion.

The justice department's website signals commutation of a sentence is a longshot, calling it "an extraordinary remedy." Grounds for granting it "have traditionally included disparity or undue severity of sentence, critical illness or old age, and meritorious service rendered to the government by the petitioner," it says.

Victims of the petitioner can submit objections before clemency is granted or denied by the president.

Without clemency, Madoff is almost certain to die in custody. The Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Nov. 14, 2139.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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