NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Bernie Madoff, the architect of the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, is asking to be released from prison because of his failing health.

In a court filing, Madoff says he is suffering from terminal kidney failure and has less than 18 months to live.

READ MORE: Man Killed, 11-Year-Old And 2 Others Hurt In Shooting At Bronx Barbecue

RELATED STORY: Bernie Madoff Asks President Trump For Sentence Reduction

READ MORE: Road Closures For UN General Assembly Start Sunday Night

He was sentenced to 150 years in prison for using his investment firm to cheat clients out of billions of dollars.

MORE NEWS: 15 People Hospitalized In Pileup On Belt Parkway

The 81-year-old began his prison term in July 2009 after pleading guilty to 11 felony charges.