NY 'Madoff Law' Would Force Rich Inmates to Pay for Jail

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2009 11:23 AM CDT
Bernard Madoff is currently serving his life sentence inside at Butner (NC) Federal Correctional Complex.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – New York lawmakers are considering a “Madoff” bill that would force convicts with deep pockets to pay the costs of their own imprisonment, Reuters reports. “Far too often, taxpayers are stuck with the bill for criminals who have extensive personal wealth waiting for them,” one assemblyman said as convicted financier Bernard Madoff begins his sentence. The state comptroller estimates that each prisoner costs $80-$90 a day.

Though the law references Madoff, the Ponzi king has already been stripped of all of his assets—or at least those he couldn’t hand off to his wife. But the law would have applied to famous inmates like Martha Stewart or Leona Helmsley. The law is also a response to the lavish bar mitzvah one inmate threw for his son inside lower Manhattan’s Tombs prison.