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Madoff Transferred to Medical Center at Prison

Madoff's attorney denies an ABC News report that his client was assaulted this month in a North Carolina prison

By Bob Van Voris and Linda Sandler

(Bloomberg) —Bernard Madoff, the con man who operated the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, has been moved to the Federal Medical Center at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina.

Madoff, 71, was transferred from the medium security prison facility to Butner's medical facility on Dec. 18, Catherine Elsea, a spokeswoman for the medical center, said in a statement. Elsea declined to say why Madoff was transferred.

Madoff is being treated for dizziness and hypertension, the Associated Press said, citing Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley. There was no answer at her phone after the bureau closed today.

WTVD, an ABC affiliate in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area, reported earlier today that Madoff was admitted to Duke University Hospital last Friday with serious injuries consistent with an assault. WTVD cited unnamed sources. The station said Madoff had facial fractures, broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

"We have had no patient of that name," Duke University Hospital spokeswoman Debbe Geiger said today in a telephone interview. She said she couldn't confirm whether the hospital had treated a prisoner or moved a patient to Butner's medical facility.

Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, told Bloomberg News yesterday that his client had not been assaulted nor hospitalized at Duke. Sorkin told the Associated Press today that Madoff had dizzy spells and high blood pressure.

Calls to spokeswomen at Butner's medical facility were not returned.

Emergency Services

Butner's medical facility is a full-service hospital, which is equipped to provide emergency services, surgery, psychiatric care and cancer treatments, said Herbert J. Hoelter, a prison consultant who advised Madoff.

Hoelter, a cofounder and chief executive officer of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives in Baltimore, said Butner patients are sometimes transferred, under 24-hour guard, to the university hospital if they require treatment that isn't available at the medical center at Butner.

Hoelter doesn't know why Madoff was moved to the medical facility, he said.

Cancer Denial

Butner's hospital serves as "a major medical and psychiatric referral center for male inmates," according to the 2008-2010 edition of the Federal Prison Guidebook by criminal lawyer Alan Ellis and prison consultant J. Michael Henderson.

In August, denying a story in the New York Post, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that Madoff hadn't been diagnosed with cancer and wasn't terminally ill.

Madoff has been serving his 150-year sentence at the Butner prison since July 14. Madoff, who has been assigned prisoner number 61727-054, has a projected release date of Nov. 14, 2139, 20 years earlier than scheduled, according to the bureau's Web site.

Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 counts and got the maximum sentence on each. He received 20 years for two counts of international money laundering, as well as for single counts of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and making a false statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He must serve the sentences consecutively.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at +1-212-617-4171 or; Linda Sandler in New York at +1-212-617-2398 or

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