December 11, 2010 by staff
Ponzi Scheme, (AP) – The eldest son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff was hanged by a dog leash in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday, the second anniversary of the arrest of his father to billion Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of investors their life savings, law enforcement officials said.
Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanging from a ceiling pipe in the living room of his loft in SoHo as his 2 year old son was asleep in an adjoining room, two police officials told The Associated Press.
The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the death.
Madoff, who reported his father to the authorities, has never been criminally charged in the biggest investment fraud in the history of the United States, which has trapped half-dozen employees Madoff.
Mark Madoff and Andrew said they were unaware of the crimes of their father. But they remained under investigation and have been named in litigation multiple investors, accusing them of benefit plan.
But an official of the third law enforcement, said Saturday that the arrest was not imminent Madoff, and that investigators of possible charges against him, his brother and uncle had not contacted for more one year. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the case and requested anonymity.
Mark Madoff was killed Saturday, said his lawyer, Martin Flumenbaum.
“This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy,” said Flumenbaum in a written statement. “Mark was an innocent victim of the monstrous crime of his father who died two years of relentless pressure from false accusations and innuendo.”
A lawyer for Mark’s mother, Ruth Madoff, said: “It is a broken heart.” The lawyer, Peter Chavkin, made no further comment.
Mark Madoff was found by his father-in-law after his wife, Stephanie, became concerned when he sent an e-mail to his Friday night or early Saturday morning that someone has to check on their 2 year old son, law enforcement officials said. Madoff’s wife, who is at Disney World in Florida with her 4 year old daughter, sent her father home, where he found the body of Madoff,. The toddler was found unharmed with a dog.
Bernard Madoff, 72, victim of a scam from a long list of investors of billions of dollars. He admitted that he ran his plan for at least two decades, cheating thousands of individuals, charities, celebrities and institutional investors. Losses are estimated at about 20 billion, making the biggest investment fraud in the history of the United States.
He was arrested Dec. 11, 2008, after confessing his crimes to his family.
The scandal put a harsh light on family members. The brother of the financier, Peter, played a leading role in the company of family. Mark Madoff and Andrew have both worked on a trade office in the company, on one side of the business that was not directly involved in the Ponzi scheme.
In February, the wife of Mark Madoff asked the court to change his surname and the surnames of their two children, saying that his family had received threats and was humiliated by the scandal.
A year ago, the trustee appointed by the court tries to unravel the financial affairs of Madoff prosecuted several parents, including Peter, Mark and Andrew, accusing them of failing to detect fraud, while a lavish lifestyle funded by the ill fortune acquired from the family.
The prosecution accuses Mark Madoff and use 66 million he received improperly to buy luxury homes in New York, Nantucket and Connecticut.
A call to the lawyer Bernard Madoff was not immediately returned Saturday. Invites the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Justice were also not immediately returned. Previously, a spokesman for the brothers had repeatedly denied that they had no knowledge of the crimes of their father.
Madoff is serving a prison sentence of 150 years in North Carolina. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said Saturday it had no specific information on whether Bernie Madoff had been informed of the death of her son or would be permitted to attend a service. In general, she said, inmates are informed of the death of a parent when the agency is aware of it and the desktop does not allow permission for inmates to attend memorial services.
A police officer stood guard in the lobby of Madoff luxury building 12-story loft apartment in SoHo on Saturday morning.
The building sits on a block occupied adjacent to Broadway in an area full of boutiques, cafes and art galleries. Sidewalks and cobblestone streets near the apartment was packed with Christmas shoppers Saturday, while dozens of journalists watch.
Spectators gawked as officials of medical examiner’s office removed the body early Saturday afternoon. The medical examiner determined the cause of death.
Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik in New York and Page Ivey in Columbia, SC contributed to this report.
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