Feds ask Madoff victims for input on request for sentence reduction

Madoff lawyer says the convicted Ponzi schemer is terminally ill

The Justice Department has asked victims of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff to give their input on his request for a sentence reduction due to his bad health.

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"If you are a victim of Madoff’s crimes and you wish to provide your views to Judge [Denny] Chin with respect to Madoff's motion for a sentence reduction, you may do so," the Department said in a statement on Friday.

MATT LAUER AND BERNIE MADOFF'S REAL ESTATE CONNECTION

In a court filing obtained by FOX Business, Madoff's attorney Brandon Sample filed a "Motion for Compassionate Release" last week, stating:

"Madoff presents 'extraordinary and compelling reasons' for compassionate release and the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) recognizes that Madoff meets the criteria for a reduction in sentence based on his end-stage renal disease."

Accused $50 billion Ponzi scheme swindler Bernard Madoff exits federal court March 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

"This Court must now consider whether keeping Madoff incarcerated, in light of his terminal kidney failure and a life expectancy of less than 18 months, is truly in furtherance of statutory sentencing goals and our society's value and understanding of compassion," Sample said.

His victims, nearly 5,000 people, may feel differently. Madoff is in jail for running the largest Ponzi scheme in history, ripping off more than $64 billion. Madoff's scheme lured investors by guaranteeing amazingly high returns, but he was in fact paying early investors with the investments of later investors.

The scheme lasted several years as Madoff and his family lived an opulent lifestyle. But the "business" came crashing down in 2008 as the financial crisis was in full swing and his clients requested a total of $7 billion back in returns.

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Madoff's victims ranged from regular Main Street types to celebrities including actors Kevin Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgewick to sports royalty such as the Wilpon family, owner of the New York Mets.

The incredible tale caught Hollywood's eye spawning two features starring two Academy Award Winners.

Bernie Madoff

BLYTHE DANNER: RUTH MADOFF WAS A CLUELESS VICTIM

Actor Richard Dreyfus portrayed Bernie Madoff in Disney's ABC miniseries "Madoff," which also starred Blythe Danner as his wife Ruth.

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Robert De Niro starred in HBO's "The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust." Michelle Pfeiffer played Ruth.

FOX Business' Suzanne O'Halloran contributed to this report.

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