Son of fraudster Bernie Madoff is found hanged

Body discovered in Manhattan flat days after he and his brother were sued by trustee investors

The elder son of the disgraced financier Bernie Madoff was found dead in his Manhattan apartment yesterday. Police indicated that Mark Madoff, who was 46, had taken his own life.

In what will look to some like a case of the son paying for the sins of the father, Mr Madoff's fully clothed body was discovered hanging shortly after daybreak in the living room of his apartment.

Sources said that his two-year-old son was found sleeping in a nearby bedroom.

The suicide came on the second anniversary of the arrest of his father. Bernie Madoff was convicted of running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history through his Manhattan investment firm, defrauding clients of $65bn and shattering the lives of individual investors and families in the US and around the globe. He is serving a 150-year prison term.

While there had been reports last winter of prosecutors preparing charges in a criminal tax-fraud case against Madoff's two sons, who worked at the firm, as well as his brother, it never materialised. But last week Mark and his younger brother, Andrew, were sued by the court-appointed trustee responsible for recouping as much of the lost money as possible for the former clients of Bernard L Madoff Securities. The suit argues that they and other relatives of the financier must have known about the scheme and should repay the missing funds.

Both sons have also been targeted by civil suits filed against them by individual victims of the Madoff scandal. Friends had described Mark as being irretrievably embittered by the discovery of the depths of his father's crimes and of his deception even to his own family.

New York police said they received a phone call from a relative of Mark Madoff just before 7.30am and that his body was found shortly afterwards in his fourth-floor apartment on Mercer Street in the fashionable SoHo neighbourhood. The building is a few doors from the Mercer Hotel, which over the years has served as the temporary and very luxurious home of people such as Rupert Murdoch and Calvin Klein.

While Madoff Snr has confessed to swindling his clients with the Ponzi scheme, he has always insisted he acted alone. However, since he was disgraced, seven other people have been arrested in relation to the case, including several former long-term employees and an outside accountant.

The death of Madoff's eldest son adds to the already wrenching human drama of the scandal. "Mark Madoff took his own life today. This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy," Martin Flumenbaum, a lawyer for the Madoff sons said. "Mark was an innocent victim of his father's monstrous crime, who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo."

Before killing himself, Mr Madoff had exchanged emails with his wife, who was away in Florida. A suggestion in one email that someone should check on their toddler son spurred Mrs Madoff to ask her father to go to the apartment. He alerted police.

Mark Madoff had joined his father's brokerage business straight after university. The unravelling of the Ponzi scheme, which uses funds from new investors to keep up with payments to existing ones, began when both sons confronted their father about huge bonus payouts he was preparing to make weeks ahead of schedule.

The next day, on 10 December 2008, the father revealed to his sons that their careers and lives were spun out of an immense web of conspiracy and fraud. They reportedly never spoke again.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road