Ponzi King Madoff's son found dead in New York apartment

New York, Dec. 12 (ANI): The eldest son of disgraced American financier Bernard Madoff was found dead in his New York apartment on Saturday.

According to the Boston Herald and ABC News, Mark Madoff was found hanging in the living room of his SoHo loft apartment on Saturday, the second anniversary of Bernard Madoff's arrest over a Ponzi scheme that swindled thousands of investors of their life savings.

He seemed to have committed suicide after facing two years of "unrelenting pressure" following his father's arrest in a multi-billion-dollar fraud that enveloped the entire family, law enforcement officials and a family attorney said.

His body found in a room next to the bedroom where his two-year-old son was sleeping, the officials said.

Mark Madoff, who reported his father to authorities the day after he confessed his fraud to his family, has never been criminally charged in the investigation that has snared half a dozen Madoff employees.

He and his brother Andrew have said they were unaware of their father's crimes. But they have remained under investigation and been named in multiple investor lawsuits.

Mark Madoff's lawyer Martin Flumenbaum said the 46-year-old had taken his own life on Saturday.

"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," said Flumenbaum in a written statement.

Mark Madoff's wife Stephanie, who is in Florida with another son, became concerned about her husband after he sent an email to her on Friday night or early Saturday morning that someone should check on the two-year-old child with him.

She asked her father to check on the home, where he found Madoff's body.

The child was sleeping in a bedroom unharmed. A dog was also found in the apartment, the officials said.

Bernard Madoff, 72, swindled a long list of investors out of billions of dollars. He admitted that he ran his scheme for at least two decades, cheating thousands of individuals, charities, celebrities and institutional investors.

Losses are estimated at around 20 billion dollars, making it the biggest investment fraud in US history.

He was arrested on December 11, 2008, after confessing his crimes to his family.

The scandal put a harsh light on members of the family. Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina after admitting the fraud in late 2008 to his family and later the FBI.

Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said on Saturday she didn't have specific information on whether Madoff had been informed of his son's death or would be allowed to attend a service.

In general, she said, inmates are informed of a relative's death as soon as the institution is made aware of it and the bureau does allow furloughs for prisoners to attend memorial services. (ANI)

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