More than money was lost. At least two people, desperate for their losses, have committed suicide. A major Madoff investor suffered a fatal heart attack after months of litigation over his role in the scheme. Some investors have lost their homes. Others lost the trust and friendship of relatives and friends whom they had inadvertently endangered.
Mr. Madoff was not spared by these tragic aftershocks. Her oldest son, Mark, committed suicide in his Manhattan apartment early in the morning of December 11, 2010, the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. He was characterized by his lawyer, Martin Flumenbaum, as “an innocent victim of the monstrous crime of his father who succumbed to two years of relentless pressure resulting from false accusations and innuendo”. One of the last messages from Mark Madoff before his death was to Mr. Flumenbaum: “No one wants to believe the truth. Please take care of my family.
In June 2012, Bernard Madoff’s brother Peter, a lawyer by training, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and securities fraud charges related to his role as chief compliance officer at his older brother’s law firm, but he was not accused of knowingly participating in the scheme. In December 2012, he confiscated all of his personal property from the government to compensate his brother’s victims and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. And on September 3, 2014, Mr. Madoff’s youngest son, Andrew, died of cancer at the age of 48. He had blamed the stress of the scandal for the return of the cancer he had fought in 2003.
In addition to the human toll, professional reputations have been destroyed. More than a dozen leading hedge funds and fund managers, including J. Ezra Merkin and the Fairfield Greenwich Group, have had to admit that they transferred their clients’ money to Mr. Madoff and that they had lost everything. Swiss private bankers, global commercial banks and major accounting firms were taken to court by clients who had relied on them to monitor their investments in Madoff.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the industry-funded organization created in 1970 to provide limited protection to brokerage clients, has spent more on Madoff’s bankruptcy than on all of its previous liquidations combined – and has been viciously attacked by victims who felt they had been wrongly refused. compensation.
And for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has unsuccessfully investigated more than half a dozen credible pieces of advice on Mr. Madoff’s fraud scheme since at least 1992, it was the most humiliating failure ever. its 75 years of history.