Madoff’s Surviving Son Faces Long List of Woes.
(Dec. 13) — His brother has hanged himself. His father is serving a 150-year prison sentence for perpetuating the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme. For Andrew Madoff, life just keeps getting worse.
The surviving son of admitted swindler Bernard Madoff is the focus of a federal criminal probe, along with other family members. He also faces more than 1,000 civil suits filed by investors and separate actions filed by Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee recovering assets for the victims.
He has not spoken publicly since Saturday, when his 46-year-old brother, Mark Madoff, was found dead. The elder son had hanged himself with a dog leash while his 2-year-old son slept in their Manhattan apartment. Friends said Mark had become increasingly depressed over recent media reports alleging that he and his brother helped their father bilk clients of billions.In a last e-mail to his wife, Mark wrote that their family “would be better off without ‘this’ hanging over them all, forever,” the New York Daily News quoted a source as saying.
Mark’s suicide does nothing to impede the legal process. “The litigation will take its course, and the death of Mark Madoff will not impact that fact,” trustee attorney David Sheehan told The New York Times.
The brothers have not been criminally charged. Both were high-ranking employees of the family’s wealth management firm. They turned their dad in to federal agents two years ago after the patriarch admitted his entire enterprise was “one big lie.”
Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts last year and was sentenced to 150 years at a medium-security federal prison in North Carolina. He most likely will not be allowed to attend Mark’s funeral.
The sons have consistently claimed they knew nothing of their father’s schemes. But other employees and the court trustee have said otherwise, accusing both of withdrawing millions in unearned compensation.Andrew, who lives in Manhattan with fiancee Catherine Hooper, has battled lymphoma and now bikes more than 100 miles per week. He never seemed to be as troubled as Mark by the ever-growing scandal surrounding his family. Last year, Andrew got into a street fight in New York City after being yelled at by a former Madoff employee, the New York Post reported.
Neither brother has spoken to his parents in two years, according to several news reports. Last year, their mother, Ruth Madoff, was ordered to report expenses of more than $100 to trustee Picard, who is trying to locate and liquidate assets to reimburse deceived customers, The Associated Press reported.
On his LinkedIn page, Andrew is listed as director of operations for Black Umbrella LLC, a private disaster management firm.
The company was founded by his fiancee and sells preparedness packages for natural or man-made disasters — including losing everything. In an October interview with the Times, Andrew said he hoped his own disaster wouldn’t taint his future wife’s business opportunities.
“I think that what happened to me illustrated to me how important it is to be prepared for unexpected events,” Andrew Madoff said. “I’m just another example.”