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Bernie Madoff's son found dead in apparent suicide

NEW YORK — Mark Madoff, a son of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff, was found dead in his New York City apartment Saturday, on the two-year anniversary of his father's arrest for stealing $65 billion from investors.

Authorities said they suspected suicide. An autopsy by the New York City medical examiner's office to determine the cause of death is scheduled for today.

Mark Madoff, 46, was under intense scrutiny by prosecutors seeking to connect him to his father's crimes, according to media reports.

Bernard Madoff, now 72, was sentenced to 150 years in prison last year for a $65 billion Ponzi scheme — the biggest in history — that destroyed the life savings of some 2,300 people.

Mark Madoff, along with an uncle, Peter Madoff, and his older brother, Andrew, held high-level positions in Bernard Madoff's investment firm. In February, the Wall Street Journal reported the three men were being investigated for possible tax fraud.

Martin Flumenbaum, an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison who represents Mark Madoff, said he believes Madoff took his own life and chastised prosecutors.

"Mark was an innocent victim of his father's monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo," Flumenbaum said in a statement.

The younger Madoff was found early Saturday, according to reports. He was hanging from a dog leash that had been fashioned into a noose and thrown over a pipe in the living room ceiling in his SoHo apartment, according to reports.

Madoff was pronounced dead at about 7 a.m., according to the medical examiner's office.

Madoff was reportedly found by his father-in law, who was sent to the apartment after Madoff's wife, Stephanie, received despondent e-mails from her husband, according to the New York Daily News. Inside the apartment was his 2-year old son, asleep in another room, and the family's labradoodle, the newspaper said.

An older daughter may not have been home, reports said. Stephanie Madoff was in Florida.

Bernie Madoff's son found dead in apparent suicide 12/11/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:40pm]
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