Bernie Madoff is not terminally ill with cancer, contrary to a report the Ponzi villain is dying in a North Carolina lockup, said a U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman.
Monday's New York Post cited unnamed inmates at the Butner, N.C., prison where Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence, saying the disgraced high finance man gobbles 20 pills a day and has told fellow inmates he isn't long for this world.
"While the NY Post story is full of inaccuracies, and we can't specifically address all of them, we can tell you that Bernie Madoff is not terminally ill, and has not been diagnosed with cancer," Traci Billingsley, Chief Public Information Officer for the prison bureau, said in a statement.
The Post also reported the 71-year-old swindler has been hanging out in prison with Native American and homosexual inmates, and that fellow prisoners are vying for his friendship.
With the Native American prisoners, Madoff is taking part in religious purification ceremonies, in which barechested participants perspire away evil in a "sweat lodge," praying and passing around a pipe. Madoff is also associating with the prison's gay clique, according to the Post, though the source said the relationships are platonic.