Andrew Madoff, the youngest son of convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff, died on Wednesday morning after a decade-long battle with mantle cell lymphoma.
The 48-year-old had been the target of a series of investigations related to his father’s $65bn Ponzi scheme – one of the biggest investment frauds in history. Bernard Madoff’s eldest son, Mark, committed suicide in 2010 on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest.
Andrew died at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital “surrounded by his loving family”, according to a statement from Madoff’s lawyer Martin Flumenbaum.
Andrew and Mark, both of whom were traders at their father’s company, denied knowing about the scheme and were never criminally charged for the fraud, for which Andrew said he would never forgive his father.
In the aftermath of their father’s confession and imprisonment, the scandal took a heavy toll on the family. Last year, Andrew told People magazine that he believed stress from the scandal played a role in his lymphoma relapse, which he had fought off 10 years earlier. Mr Flumenbaum also said Mark’s suicide was the result of “two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo”.
Irving Picard, trustee of the Madoff Recovery Initiative – a group that has recovered nearly $10bn of the $17bn lost by Madoff clients – filed an amended civil lawsuit in July this year alleging that the brothers deleted emails linking them to their father’s fraud and used the proceeds of his sham loans to buy expensive Manhattan real estate. Mr Picard sought $153m from Andrew Madoff, Mark Madoff’s estate and Mark’s widow, Stephanie Mack.
“[Mr Picard] and his team were very sorry to learn of Andrew Madoff’s death and they extend their sympathies to his family,” said Amanda Remus, spokeswoman for Mr Picard, in a statement on Wednesday.
Andrew Madoff’s lawyers had fired back at the trustee’s accusations in August, saying Mr Picard did not deserve “another bite at the apple” after a similar case brought through a full trial in the UK High Court last year concluded the brothers were unaware of the fraud.
Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina for felonies, including securities fraud and money laundering.
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