Ruth Madoff has tried to disappear over the last 10 years so she wouldn’t be hounded by the press. But Bernie Madoff’s wife and his late sons, Andrew and Mark, are back in the spotlight today after the mastermind of a multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, died in prison today. He was 82-years-old.
“The day someone passes is not a time to dance on a grave but let’s just be honest, many many people were hurt by his actions and it’s time to hopefully turn the page and move forward,” Bill de Blasio said.
There is still a cloud of mystery surrounding Bernie Madoff’s family. In 2010, Mark Madoff, the oldest of Bernie’s sons, committed suicide on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. According to The New York Times, Mark hung himself in his Manhattan apartment, with his 2-year-old son in the other room.
A law enforcement official confirmed Mark sent an email to his lawyer urging him to “take care of my family” and that “no one wants to hear the truth.” He also sent an email to his wife where Mark wrote, “I love you … send someone to take care of Nick.”
She later sent her stepfather to their Manhattan home to check on their 2-year-old son, since she was vacationing with their 4-year-old daughter in Florida.
The attorney for Bernie Madoff’s sons alleged that neither Mark nor Andrew had been notified by prosecutors that they were going to be subject to a criminal investigation. Some believed that the Madoff family was vulnerable to being prosecuted for tax-law violations. Whether Mark’s suicide was motivated by fear of prosecution is still unknown.
Mark’s younger brother, Andrew Madoff, passed away after a long battle with mantle cell lymphoma nearly four years later.
According to Investment News, the two brothers called the FBI only hours after first learning of their father’s fraud. Bernie confessed to them because his investment-management business had been inundated with redemption orders he could not fill. The two brothers claimed they had no part in the scheme. But they were later sued for millions of dollars. They were never charged with complicity in the fraud.
NBC New York reported that Ruth Madoff, 79, never divorced the infamous Ponzi schemer. She did distance herself from him, though, and in 2011, she told Today that “the villain of all this is behind bars.
With that distance, Ruth moved into a one-bedroom condo in Old Greenwich, living in virtual exile, according to the New York Post. Since then she has avoided media attention, but after Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, Ruth was forced to surrender almost $70 million in remaining assets. She has now outlived her disgraced husband.
Bernie Madoff passed away at the Federal Medical Center Butner in Butner, North Carolina. CNBC reported that he died from natural causes while serving his 150-year sentence. He had been treated for terminal kidney diseases, but his request for compassionate release from prison was denied in June.
He pleaded guilty to a $65 billion Ponzi scheme in 2009, an enormous con that financially devastated thousands of people. The scheme started in the early 1970s and defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries over four decades.