The eldest son of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff killed himself in a Manhattan apartment early on Saturday morning.
Mark Madoff, 46, killed himself by hanging himself with a dog leash attached to a ceiling pipe in the living room of his Mercer Street apartment.
His father, a Wall Street trader and supporter of many Jewish organizations, was arrested in late 2008 on suspicions that he defrauded investors of an estimated $50 billion in a massive pyramid or Ponzi scheme. He is currently serving a 150-year sentence.
Several months ago, allegations were also made against Walter Noel, one of the most wealthy and socially prominent financiers in Greenwich, Connecticut. Noel was accused of “aiding, abetting, enabling and substantially participating” in Madoff's scheme.
Mark Madoff killed himself two years to the day after his father was arrested. His father-in-law discovered the body around 7:30 Saturday morning, after Madoff’s wife, who was out of town with her four-year old daughter, asked her father to check on the couple’s two-year-old son.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told New York’s Channel 1 TV that “His father-in-law was there; he was called by Mr. Madoff’s wife to check on the two-year-old who was there. The two-year-old was fine.”
Kelly added that Madoff “apparently left some e-mail notes; there was no note at the scene but had communicated with members of the family.”
Mark Madoff and his brother Andrew were never criminally charged in their father’s massive fraud. However, their involvement in it had been questioned and they were named in investor lawsuits accusing them of profiting from the scheme.
In a statement, Mark Madoff’s attorney said: “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.”