Posted tagged ‘Bernard Madoff’

Bernard Madoff Dying of Cancer?

August 24, 2009

According to the New York Post, Bernard Madoff has told fellow prison inmates that he is dying of cancer.

Looks like pancreatic cancer. This is what killed my grandfather. Quite possibly a painful death ahead for Mr. Madoff. I’m sure some will be happy if this rumor proves to be true!

From the New York Post:

Bernie Madoff had little to lose by confessing to masterminding the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme — he’s dying of cancer, sources told The Post.

Madoff, who is serving 150 years at a North Carolina federal lockup after pleading guilty to swindling more than $65 billion, has been telling fellow inmates he does not have much longer to live.

“He’s been taking about 20 pills a day for his cancer,” said one inmate.

“He talks about it all the time. He’s not doing very well.”

There’s been much speculation as to why Madoff took the entire fall for the scheme — and rumors of his suffering from pancreatic cancer surfaced many months before he arrived at the Butner, NC, complex in June.

The prisoners did not confirm that’s the form of cancer he’s suffering.


Bernard Madoff Gets 150 Years

June 29, 2009

A federal judge sentenced Bernard Madoff to 150 years in prison for operating the Ponzi scheme that devastated thousands of people.

From the New York Times:

In pronouncing the sentence — the maximum he could have handed down — Judge Denny Chin turned aside Mr. Madoff’s own assertions of remorse and rejected the suggestion from Mr. Madoff’s lawyers that there was a sense of “mob vengeance” surrounding calls for a long prison term.

“Objectively speaking, the fraud here was staggering,” the judge said. “It spanned more than 20 years.”

The sentencing came at the end of a 90-minute hearing in which victims of the $65 billion fraud told a packed courtroom that the judge should show no mercy and Mr. Madoff himself stood up from the defense table to acknowledge the damage he had inflicted and express regret.

“I’m responsible for a great deal of suffering and pain, I understand that,” the 71-year-old financier told the court. “I live in a tormented state now, knowing all of the pain and suffering that I’ve created. I’ve left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren.”

Investor in Madoff Scheme Commits Suicide

February 14, 2009

William Foxton, a former British soldier, killed himself after losing his life savings in an alleged $50 billion fraud run by Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff.

From Reuters:

William Foxton, 65, who had served in the British Army and more recently worked as a defense contractor in Afghanistan, died from a single bullet wound to the head in the southern English port city of Southampton on Tuesday, police said.

“A pistol was recovered at the scene. Police do not believe the death to be suspicious,” a police statement said.

His son Willard said his father had returned from Afghanistan and revealed his life savings had been lost. He did not say how much had gone, but news reports said it was close to 1 million pounds ($1.45 million).

“He came back and we were all very glad he was back and retiring and we were looking forward to him spending a long and happy retirement with us, but unfortunately very recently … I got in contact with him to ask him some ordinary family stuff and halfway through the conversation he said: ‘Look, I’m really sorry, I can’t concentrate, I’m afraid I’ve lost everything, I’ve lost all the money, I might have to declare myself bankrupt’,” Willard Foxton told Sky news.

“He invested in hedge funds (and) without going into the names of the specific hedge funds, essentially these two hedge funds had taken the money, and as far as I can understand from news reports and the class action lawsuits being filed against them, they had taken all the money that was invested with them and then sunk that into Bernie Madoff’s fund.”

Bernard Madoff to Remain Free on Bail

January 12, 2009

A judge has ruled to allow Bernard Madoff to remain free on bail. The judge rejected the prosecutions motion to send the disgraced money manager to jail.

From the Associated Press:

Madoff mailed more than $1 million in jewelry and heirlooms to family and friends over the holidays. Prosecutors said the gifts were grounds to have his bail revoked because what’s left of Madoff’s assets will have to be returned to burned investors.

Madoff’s lawyers said the gifts were an innocent mistake and said he is neither a danger to the community nor a threat to flee.

The fact that Madoff (MAY’-dawf) has been able to spend his days in his luxury apartment — and not jail — has stirred up outrage among investors who lost billions in his alleged fraud that he reportedly describes as a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

German Billionaire Adolf Merckle Commits Suicide

January 6, 2009

German billionaire Adolf Merckle took his own life this week, becoming the latest high-profile casualty of the global economic crisis that already has claimed the lives of executives in both Europe and here in the United States.


Credit: Reuters

From the Associated Press:

Merckle, a respected businessmen with a wife and four children, jumped in front of a train in the town of Blaubeuren in southwestern Germany, officials said Tuesday.

His business empire had run into trouble in the crisis, and its problems were compounded by heavy losses in trading of shares in automaker Volkswagen AG. Merckle’s business interests included generic drug maker Ratiopharm International GmbH and cement maker HeidelbergCement AG.

Merckle’s family said in a statement that “the distress to his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to act, broke the passionate family businessman.”

Authorities said he left a suicide note, but gave no details. Merckle’s death appears to be at least the third comparable suicide in less than four months.

In September, Kirk Stephenson — the chief operating officer of private equity house Olivant — jumped in front of a train at a rail station west of London. The 47-year-old husband and father of a young son stepped onto the tracks, was struck and killed.

A British coroner ruled last month that the death was suicide, though the precise reasons remain a mystery. He left no suicide note.

Two days before Christmas, in New York, Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, was found dead at his desk, both wrists slashed and bottle of pills nearby after his fortune and the money of his loved ones vanished along with his clients when he lost $1.4 billion invested with Bernard Madoff.

From the New York Times:

Adolf Merckle, the German billionaire whose speculation in volatile Volkswagen stock had pushed his sprawling business empire to the edge of ruin, has committed suicide, his family said Tuesday.

Mr. Merckle, 74, was found dead on railroad tracks near his villa in the southern German hamlet of Blaubeuren on Monday evening. German authorities in the nearby city of Ulm confirmed the death and said there was no sign anyone else was involved.

“The distress to his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to handle the situation, broke the passionate family businessman, and he ended his life,” the family said in a statement.

The police said a suicide note had been found; its contents were not publicly released.

Madoff Investor Commits Suicide

December 24, 2008

he founder of an investment fund that lost $1.4 billion with Bernard Madoff was discovered dead Tuesday after committing suicide at his Madison Avenue office.

From the Associated Press:

Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, 65, was found sitting at his desk at about 8 a.m. with both wrists slashed, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. A box cutter was found on the floor along with a bottle of sleeping pills on his desk. No suicide note was found.

De la Villehuchet was one of several fund managers to be hit hard in Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Investment funds that lost big to Madoff are also facing backlash and investor lawsuits for not protecting their clients from the alleged fraud.

It is not immediately known what kind of scrutiny de la Villehuchet was facing over his Madoff losses through his Access International Advisors, located a couple of blocks from Rockefeller Center.

But on Monday night, he told cleaning crews in his building that he wanted them out of his office by 7 p.m. because he was going to be working late.

Workers returned Tuesday morning and found the door locked. He was later discovered dead at his desk, with a garbage can placed near his body to apparently catch the blood, Browne said.

De la Villehuchet, (pronounced veel-ou-SHAY) was a prominent investor who came from a long line of aristocratic Frenchmen, with the Magon part of his name referring to one of France’s most powerful families.

The Magon name is even listed on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, a world-famous monument that was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806.

His fund enlisted intermediaries with links to the cream of Europe’s high society to garner clients. Among them was Philippe Junot, a French businessman and friend who is the former husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and Prince Michel of Yugoslavia.

De la Villehuchet, the former chairman and chief executive of Credit Lyonnais Securities USA, was also known as a keen sailor who regularly participated in regattas and was a member of the New York Yacht Club.

From CNN:

Thierry de la Villehuchet, a hedge fund adviser and investor whose firm said he lost $1.5 billion investing with Wall Street adviser Bernard Madoff, was found dead in his office in an apparent suicide Tuesday, police said.

Emergency personnel discovered the body of Villehuchet, 65, at 7:29 a.m. in the Madison Avenue office of Access International Advisors, police said.

Villehuchet suffered “cuts made to his arm, to his wrist and also to his bicep area, with a box cutter,” New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a news conference.

He also told reporters there were pills present, though it wasn’t clear whether any were ingested, and there was no suicide note.

The body will be examined and a toxicology report issued Wednesday, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York medical examiner.

Kelly read a statement from Access International Advisors’ attorney saying the firm lost $1.5 billion by investing with Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq chairman who is accused of operating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Madoff Scheme Hits Charities Hard

December 18, 2008

The list of charities devastated by Bernard Madoff’s alleged fraud keeps growing and now includes celebrities such as Steven Spielberg.

From the AFP:

Steven Spielberg’s charitable foundation fell victim to the mammoth 50-billion-dollar fraud allegedly carried out by Wall Street heavyweight Bernard Madoff, reports said.

It is not known if the Oscar-winning film-maker had chunks of his personal fortune invested with Madoff but the director’s Wunderkinder Foundation has suffered losses, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The foundation could not be immediately contacted for comment.

The newspaper reported that about 70 percent of the dividend income and interest for the foundation had been handled by Madoff’s securities firm, which is now the subject of one of the biggest fraud investigations in history.

The Journal also cited people familiar with the case as saying that Spielberg’s partner at DreamWorks Animation SKG, chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, had sustained “millions in Madoff-connected losses.”

The report said both Katzenberg and Spielberg were the only two clients of legendary Hollywood financial adviser Jerry Breslauer, who had dealt with Madoff since 2004.

From Reuters:

The alleged $50 billion fraud by former Nasdaq Chairman Bernard Madoff has rippled deep into Boston’s wealthy elite, forcing a charitable foundation to close and triggering losses by prominent philanthropists.

The Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, which financed trips for Jewish youth to Israel, said the money that supported its programs was invested with Madoff, a 70-year-old Wall Street trader arrested on Thursday.

“The money needed to fund the programs of the Lappin Foundation is gone,” the Salem, Massachusetts-based foundation said on its website, adding all staff had been let go.

“It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement,” Robert I. Lappin, the foundation’s trustee, said in a statement.

The Boston Globe reported on Saturday that other clients of Madoff included philanthropists Carl and Ruth Shapiro, big donors to the Museum of Fine Arts, Brandeis University and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The Shapiro family foundation lost almost half its money, or about $145 million, to Madoff, the newspaper said.

Other clients included Avram and Carol Goldberg, a previous owner of the Stop&Shop supermarket chain, and Stephen Fine, president of privately held Biltrite Corp.

Federal agents arrested Madoff at his apartment on Thursday after prosecutors said he told senior employees that his money management operations were “all just one big lie” and “a giant Ponzi scheme.”

A Ponzi scheme is an illegal investment vehicle that pays off old investors with money from new ones and is dependent on a constant stream of new investment. Because the invested capital is not earning a sufficient return on its own, such schemes eventually collapse under their own weight.