Bernie Madoff Can’t Afford a Phone Call

Financier Bernard Madoff leaves Manhattan Federal court March 10, 2009 in New York City. Madoff attended a hearing regarding the conflicting status of his legal representation in his multi-billion dollar fraud allegations. His lawyer, Ira Sorkin, has told a judge his client is expected to plead guilty to 11 counts including money laundering, perjury and securities, mail and wire fraud.
Photo: Chris Hondros/2009 Getty Images

Every now and then, fallen Ponzi king Bernie Madoff likes to remind his family he’s still alive, but since they won’t talk to him, he passes his contrition through a reporter. This time, “his prison phone account didn’t have any money in it, so he had to call CNNMoney collect.” The 75-year-old then explained, “I’m usually up at 4:30 in the morning because I can’t sleep,” what with the demons and all. “I was responsible for my son Mark’s death and that’s very, very difficult,” he said. (Mark’s suicide and his father’s reaction were explored in Steve Fishman’s 2011 New York cover story, “The Madoff Tapes.”) “I live with that,” he told CNN. “I live with the remorse, the pain I caused everybody, certainly my family, and the victims.” Madoff currently occupies his infinite time with a prison job “taking care of the telephone and the computer systems,” for which he is paid $40 per month.