Bernie Madoff moved to prison's medical center

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WASHINGTON - Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was moved last week to the medical center within the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina for undisclosed reasons, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said he had been transferred on Dec. 18, but she declined to comment on the reason, citing privacy rules.

Madoff, 71, is serving a 150-year term at the prison after pleading guilty to a multibillion-dollar fraud.

"It could be one of a few things," said Herbert J. Hoelter, a prison consultant who advised Madoff. "They do surgical procedures if there's a need for that."

Hoelter, who said he does not know why Madoff was moved to the medical facility, said it is a full-service hospital equipped to provide emergency services, surgery, psychiatric care and cancer treatments.

Ira Sorkin, Madoff's lawyer, declined to comment.

In late August, prison officials denied a published report Madoff had been diagnosed with cancer and was terminally ill. The New York Post, citing unnamed prison sources, reported Madoff had told other inmates he did not have long to live.

Madoff pleaded guilty in March to orchestrating a worldwide Ponzi scheme that bilked thousands of investors.

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