Madoff son commits suicide

One of convicted US fraudster Bernard Madoff’s sons has
committed suicide in his New York apartment, a family lawyer has said.

Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanged in Manhattan on the
second anniversary of his father’s arrest.

Mark Madoff and his brother Andrew were both being
investigated in the case but had not been charged.

Bernard Madoff admitted last year defrauding thousands of
investors through a $65bn (£41bn) Ponzi scheme.

The scheme pays out using new investors’ money rather
than from any profits.

Bernard Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison term.

A family member notified police of the incident in the
Soho district at around 0730 local time (1230 GMT) on Saturday.

A lawyer for the two brothers, Martin Flumenbaum, told
Reuters: “Mark Madoff took his own life today. This is a terrible and
unnecessary tragedy.

“Mark was an innocent victim of his father’s
monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false
accusations and innuendo.”

Mark and Andrew Madoff worked on a trading desk for the
family firm, in a part of the business not thought to be directly involved in
the Ponzi scheme. They and other family members have denied being aware of it.

Mark Madoff’s wife this year asked a court to allow her
to change her surname, citing threats to the family.

On Friday, the trustee charged with recovering funds for
the victims of Bernard Madoff’s fraud filed lawsuits seeking nearly $20bn in
damages.

Irving Picard has charged nearly 60 people, including a
number of major banks.

Mark Madoff was also being sued for failing to protect
investor assets.

He had been accused in one lawsuit of using $66m in
improperly received funds to buy luxury homes.

A friend and associate of Bernard Madoff, Jeffry Picower,
who was also being sued, was found dead in a swimming pool at his Florida home
in October, although the case remains unresolved.

Bernard Madoff has always insisted he acted alone but
seven other people have been arrested in connection with the case.

The Ponzi scheme, which had been running since the early
1990s, unravelled when Bernard Madoff’s investors tried to withdraw about $7bn
at the height of the economic downturn. He could not produce the money.

Last month, an auction of the possessions of the
disgraced financier and his wife was held in New York, raising more than $2m
that will go to more than 3,000 clients who lost money through the scheme.

When the fraudster was arrested two years ago, US
marshals seized everything he owned and will sell it all.

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