NEW YORK - Swindler Bernard Madoff was temporarily moved to a prison in Atlanta from New York and was in transit to yet another facility on Tuesday, a U.S. official said.
A spokeswoman at the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Madoff had left Atlanta and was in transit after U.S. prison records showed that the disgraced financier was taken to the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, from his New York jail cell.
Prison officials in New York and Washington declined comment on reports by the Wall Street Journal and CNBC that Madoff was going to serve his effective life term at a medium security prison in Butner, North Carolina. The prison is an eight-hour drive from New York.
He was sentenced on June 29 to a total of 150 years on several criminal charges, including securities fraud, money laundering and perjury for a Ponzi scheme amounting to as much as $65 billion. A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors are paid with money from new clients.
The Bureau web site, www.bop.gov/, which provides locations of inmates, listed his full name Bernard Lawrence Madoff, his prison number 61727-054, age 71, race, gender, projected release date of November 14, 2139 and location of the Atlanta prison.
The release date, which is academic in Madoff's case, automatically reflects a 20-year reduction for good behaviour.
On Monday, a spokesman for the Manhattan Correctional Centre, which is next door to the courthouse where Madoff confessed to his crimes in front of defrauded investors, said Madoff had left that jail but could not provide details.
Madoff spent the last four months in the jail after pleading guilty in March.
Madoff's lawyer had asked that his client be incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York, a medium-security prison about 70 miles northwest of New York City, but the final decision is made by the prisons bureau.
Madoff will wear prison-issued clothing, initially be in isolation and then have a cell mate, according to those who have served time in the U.S. system. He will earn pennies doing menial jobs.
(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Derek Caney and Matt Daily)