The son of a convicted Ponzi-schemer reportedly committed suicide, according to New York police Saturday.
“Mark Madoff took his own life today,” Madoff’s attorney Martin Flumenbaum said in an advisory.
Mark Madoff died on the second anniversary of the arrest of his father, Bernie Madoff, CNN reported.
Deputy New York Police Commissioner Paul Browne said the younger Madoff before his death emailed his wife “words to the effect that someone should check on his son.”
According to The New York Times, Madoff was found hanging by the neck from a dog leash attached to a ceiling pipe in the apartment, while his two-year-old son slept in an adjoining bedroom.
The wife of the 46-year-old Madoff was in Florida.
Brown could not confirm whether Madoff left a suicide note.
“This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy,” Madoff’s lawyer wrote. “Mark was an innocent victim of his father’s monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo. We are all deeply saddened by this shocking turn of events.”
Madoff’s father in law found his body at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. His body was removed at 12:20 p.m.
Madoff’s father, Bernard, 71, was convicted for spearheading the largest Ponzi scheme in US history. He is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2009. He is imprisoned at the Butner Federal Correction Complex in North Carolina.
Madoff used a fake investment firm to hoodwink investors out of $50 billion. The scheme involved transferring funds from new investors to his older investors, saying that the monies were from investments, when in fact they were stolen funds.
Although no criminal charges have been filed against Mark Madoff, he was being sued in a civil action by the US trustee trying to recover money for victims.
The trustee, Irving Picard, charges that Mark and other close family members benefited from the flood of ill-gotten gains that Madoff senior secured, regardless of whether or not they knew about the fraud.
Flumenbaum, the family lawyer, said it was the father’s excesses that helped bring about “a terrible and unnecessary tragedy” in Mark Madoff’s death.
US media reports described Mark Madoff as having been crushed by his father’s betrayal of trust. He and his brother Andrew had worked with their father at his Manhattan headquarters office, but say they did not know that their father was running a criminal scheme in parallel to legitimate business.