12 Dec 2010

Son of Madoff found dead

8:29 am on 12 December 2010

The elder son of convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff has been found dead in his New York apartment in an apparent suicide.

Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanged in his Manhattan apartment on the second anniversary of his father's arrest.

Bernard Madoff, 72, is serving a prison sentence of 150 years. Last year, he admitted defrauding thousands of investors through a $US65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Both Mark Madoff and his brother Andrew worked for their father's financial firm. The BBC reports both were being investigated in the case, but have not been charged.

They and other family members have denied being aware of the Ponzi scheme.

On Friday, the trustee charged with recovering funds for the victims of Bernard Madoff's fraud filed lawsuits seeking almost $US20 billion in damages.

Irving Picard has charged nearly 60 people, including a number of major banks.

Mark Madoff was also being sued for failing to protect investor assets. Earlier this year, his wife asked a court to allow her to change her surname, citing threats to the family.

A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors are paid with money of new ones.

Madoff has insisted he acted alone.