Image: Prisoners are unloaded at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C.
Chuck Liddy  /  AP
A bus carrying disgraced financier Bernard Madoff arrives at a federal prison in Butner, N.C., Tuesday morning.
updated 7/14/2009 4:15:13 PM ET 2009-07-14T20:15:13

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff arrived Tuesday at a federal prison in North Carolina to begin serving a 150-year sentence for what is believed to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Linda Thomas said Madoff arrived at the Butner, N.C., facility after leaving federal jail in New York City on Monday.

Madoff has a projected release date of November 14, 2139, assuming he gets early release credit for good behavior while in prison. He is listed in Bureau of Prisons records as prisoner number 61727-054.

The 71-year-old Madoff pleaded guilty in March to charges that his investment advisory business was a multibillion-dollar scheme that wiped out thousands of investors and ruined charities.

Ponzi schemes are nothing new, but Madoff’s was stunning for its size and duration. In a Ponzi scheme, early investors are paid by diverting money from new investors. When the flow of new money dries up, the scheme collapses and the fraud is exposed.

Authorities said Madoff had carried out the fraud for at least two decades before confessing to his sons in December that his investment business was a fraud and that he had lost as much as $50 billion.

The Butner Federal Correctional Complex, located about 45 miles northwest of Raleigh, includes two medium-security facilities, a low-security facility and a hospital, according to the Bureau of Prisons Web site. Within the federal prison system, it is perhaps best known for its hospital facility to treat elderly or ill prisoners.

Among the well-known criminals being held at Butner are:

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Madoff arrives at N.C. prison

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