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Madoff shared prison cell with drug dealer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Epic swindler Bernard Madoff shared a prison cell with a 21-year-old drug dealer, and other fellow inmates included a spy and a mob boss when he was sent to prison in July, according to court documents.

Bernard Madoff in his March 2009 booking photo. REUTERS/UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE/Handout

The account of the 71-year-old Madoff’s prison life was given by California lawyer Joseph Cotchett, who interviewed the fraudster in late July and included those details in an amended civil complaint on Tuesday filed on behalf of some defrauded investors.

The complaint also alleges that from 1975 to 2003, Madoff sent a company messenger to Harlem to buy cocaine for himself and other employees.

“Madoff sleeps in the lower bunk and he eats pizza cooked by an inmate convicted of child molestation,” the complaint in New York State Supreme Court said. “His recreation consists of walking around the prison track at night.”

A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on Madoff’s current conditions at the medium security Butner, North Carolina, facility, which consists of four complexes, including one for medical treatment. In August, the bureau knocked down a New York Post tabloid report that Madoff had cancer.

Madoff is confined for the rest of his life in the prison outside the city of Raleigh after pleading guilty in March to orchestrating a multibillion dollar global investment fraud.

He was sentenced on June 30 to 150 years by a judge in New York and transferred to the prison on July 14.

“Rather than spending time on private planes or his yachts, or residing in his luxury apartment in Manhattan, his Montauk, Long Island, and Palm Beach mansions, or his property in Cap d’Antibe, France, Madoff now shares a cell with a 21-year old inmate convicted of drug crimes,” the complaint said.

“He now spends time with former Colombo crime family boss Carmine Persico and Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel. Most of his fellow inmates are in prison for drug crimes or sex crimes.”

The court document, based on interviews with employees and an investigation by Cotchett’s law firm alleged “abuse of drugs and women as a pattern of conduct in the Madoff firm,” Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in New York.

From 1975, Madoff sent an employee to buy cocaine and other drugs for himself and company employees, the complaint said. It described “wild office parties sans spouses” and “topless entertainers wearing only ‘G-string’ underwear serving as waitresses.”

The case is Jay Wexler on behalf of Rye Select Broad Market Prime Fund LP v KPMG LLP et al, New York State Supreme Court No. 101615/2009

Reporting by Grant McCool, editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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