Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Convicted fraudster and Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff asked a federal judge in New York for compassionate release from prison Wednesday, saying he's dying of kidney disease.
His lawyer filed a motion in federal court in Manhattan seeking his release, saying his client has "less than 18 months to live."
In addition to kidney disease, the court document said Madoff has cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
The 81-year-old has served 11 years of a 150-year prison sentence for swindling tens of billions of dollars as part of the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He is serving the sentence at a North Carolina prison.
Madoff told The Washington Post he has end-stage kidney disease and has entered into palliative care at the prison. He said he wishes to have a relationship with his grandchildren before he dies.
"I'm terminally ill," he told the newspaper by phone. "There's no cure for my type of disease. So, you know, I've served. I've served 11 years already, and, quite frankly, I've suffered through it."